By CAROLINE STREETT
CAMPUS—In an effort to make our campus greener, Salisbury’s Office of Sustainability has partnered with SPIN, a San Francisco-based international bike sharing program.
The SPIN program simply requires students to download the app and sign up using their student email account. The app provides a map that pinpoints available bicycles nearby.
The bikes are normally $1 per every 30 minutes, but students, faculty and staff get the bikes at half their normal rental rate price. Long-term rental agreements are also available at rates of $14 per month, $29 for three months or $49 annually.
With 100 bikes readily available throughout campus, as well as 100 bikes in downtown Salisbury, there are plenty of bikes to choose from. The bikes will be relocated to popular areas in their designated “drop spots.” These spots include the Avery Street lot, Maggs Physical Activity Center, Academic Commons on the north side, the Quad, Seagull Square and University Park.
The bikes have a series of features including dynamo in the front wheel to power the headlamp, a solar powered battery, a fully adjustable seat and tail light for nighttime.
They are also considered ‘dock-less’ bikes, so they don’t necessarily need to be placed in the racks. They just need to be placed in responsible locations out of walkways.
SPIN has an agreement with the local Schwinn dealership to accommodate for repairs, and they have hired an SU student to relocate the equipment when necessary.
This first month of operation the company is aiming to get familiar with the campus, as well as riders’ habits and interests, in order to make the bikes more conveniently available.
“The great thing is people can jump on a bike without owning the bike so that’s the big plus,” Director of Campus Sustainability and Environmental Safety Wayne Shelton said. “I think about folks who don’t want to own a bike like international students, and people who don’t too far off the campus. There’s a number of opportunities where people want the benefits of a bike without the cost and on-going management that comes with owning one.”
The bike program launched on Feb. 19 and has already shown to be rather popular around campus. By Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Shelton had received data that they had already had 175 trips and students had ridden more than 192 miles.
Shelton was happy with the rising popularity of the bikes.
“We had a relatively quiet launch,” Shelton said. “I sent an email, and there was a student email sent out through the SGA. Other than that, we haven’t done anything to promote it so I was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome.”
Shelton is looking forward to getting in some better weather and getting the bikes placed in the best locations.
“The simplicity of their program was fantastic,” Shelton said. “You sign up for it, you use your phone to rent the bike, you ride around, you lock it and then you’re off rental. Very simple kind of process from start up to using it.”
“I really think it’s convenient for students who may be running late or who think that the buses are not going to be there on time,” SGA Director of Sustainability Julia Lavarias said.
Lavarias revealed that many of her friends and fellow SGA officers have already started using the bikes in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.
“There’s also not enough parking on campus for students,” Lavarias said. “I often find myself not being able to find parking, and I feel like the bikes will be an easy an efficient way to accommodate to this issue.”
Featured image by Megan Campbell.