By Lori Wysong
Elm Staff Writer
The Bike Share program is up and running this semester, with a few new bikes in addition to the old ones.
For those students interested in renting bikes this spring, there will be a few changes to the rules from previous semesters.
Junior Sammy Howell, Student Government Association secretary of environmental affairs, believes that the new rules add clarity to the program.
“The rental process itself is almost identical to previous semesters. It’s just more thorough in order to minimize miscommunication, misconceptions, and mix-ups,” she said.
According to an SGA notice clarifying the new rules, one of the main changes is that students are responsible for paying for lost or damaged bikes and bike locks. Replacement bikes are $250 and locks are $14.
“In the past, there have been issues where bikes have been declared missing or stolen simply due to a bike not being put back properly,” Howell said.
To avoid paying these fees, students must return rented bikes to the racks in front of Somerset Hall.
Howell said that technically, this has always been the Bike Share return policy, but now the rule is being emphasized to improve the program.
“If the bikes are all on the same racks near Somerset, students don’t have to search all over campus for a bike,” she said.
Another change announced by the SGA is that the keys to the bike locks must be returned to Public Safety between 4 p.m. and midnight to dispatchers, not to Public Safety officers.
Howell said, “This rule is to ensure students are turning their bikes in to the correct person, and the information about their bike rental is recorded properly.”
Even if students rented bikes last semester, they will still have to fill out a new form this spring. Howell said that the SGA instated this policy so that students are aware of the new Bike Share rules before they sign.
“The different rules and edits are meant to make the rental process easier for the students using Bike Share and for the individuals in charge of maintenance. The best things to do to ensure Bike Share runs smoothly are read the rules, especially the new ones, and be thorough in your interactions with Public Safety,” Howell said.
The new forms are located in a clear bin in the Public Safety office.
Just like last semester, after students return their bikes, they must wait 24 hours before renting another one.
“Bike Share is not designed for long-term rentals, so this rule provides more students the opportunity to use the program,” Howell said.
This rule stemmed from a growing interest in the Bike Share program on campus. While this places more demands on the Bike Share program, the new rules were developed to meet and address these challenges.
Howell said, “I love seeing the increase in Bike Share use and appreciate the feedback about the program.”
Students with any questions regarding the Bike Share program or the new rules should email email@example.com.