Bike Share program hopes to expand with help of RHA

RHA Vice President Rachel Thomas said the second location could be near Bingham Commons or the North, Center and South area.

Mizzou bike share program looks to MU Residence Hall Association to further expand bike share program. Maneater File Photo

The Residence Halls Association executive board hopes to expand the Bike Share program, which has received consistent student use since its establishment in 2012.

RHA Vice President Rachel Thomas and sustainability coordinator Nisha Patel are working with Environmental Leadership Office adviser Amy Eultgen to apply for funds from the Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee.

If SFCIC approves the application, RHA will use the funds, along with the guaranteed amounts from ELO and the Missouri Students Association, to create another Bike Share location on campus near Bingham Commons or the North, Center and South area, Thomas said.

The program is currently allotted $2,600 in student fees from MSA and allows MU students to check out bikes from the Student Center for free and use them for the rest of the day.

RHA had been discussing a second Bike Share location for a few years but had not begun working for it until recently.

“The most important thing that we’re supposed to do is advocate for this project,” Patel said.

Patel’s job is to inform the sustainability leaders in each residence hall and the RHA Sustainability Committee about the expansion plans so they can share the information with the residents.

“(We’re trying) to get as much general support as we can from the student body to promote this project,” she said.

Most students use the Bike Share program as freshmen, Patel said. According to the program’s records, between 400 and 600 students check out bikes every semester, with roughly 1,500 checkouts every fall and 1,000 every spring. Eultgen said the program’s checkout system tracks how many times a student checks out a bike.

“We have some students that check them out every day and get sixty checkouts in a semester, and some people are just one-time users,” she said.

Patel and Thomas agreed that the program is important to campus because it creates an environmentally conscious culture for the students.

“Not only is it helpful for transportation, but (also) it helps us become a more sustainable society,” Patel said.

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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