North Texas Daily

TAMS creates school-wide bike sharing program

TAMS creates school-wide bike sharing program

March 20
22:04 2013

Andrew Freeman / Staff Writer

The Texas Academy of Math and Science has developed a program that allows students to rent out bikes for commercial use to promote a healthy lifestyle in an environmentally friendly manner.

“The TAMS bike share program is a way to encourage a healthy and sustainable way for students to get around campus and Denton,” said Kevin Roden, Assistant Director of Student Life at TAMS. “We are hoping this can serve as a pilot program for a larger bike share initiative on campus.”

Four bicycles at McConnell Hall are available for checkout by any student at any time. They can be rented at the front desk.

“With only four, we kind of have this shortage because so many people want to use it,” TAMS sophomore Flora Yan said. “Getting it started was tough, but now that it has, we have a lot of student interest.”

The program was created by Naturally – a TAMS environmental club.

“Being president of Naturally, I really wanted to make it happen,” TAMS sophomore Prathibha Juturu said. “On a small scale, we’re reducing our carbon footprint. It’s really supporting the ideas of sustainability.”

The bikes were purchased from Bullseye Bike Shop, a local store in Denton. After listening to the group’s plan, the owners were happy to try and accommodate a tight budget.

“We thought we wouldn’t be able to do it at first,” said Rachel Marshall, co-owner of Bullseye Bike Shop with her husband Kevin. “But one of our lines of bikes got marked down because they were last year’s stock, and we were able to sell it to them with no markup or profit on our end.”

The Marshalls said they wanted to help because cycling is important to them.

“We’re bike shop owners, but before that we’re bike enthusiasts,” Rachel Marshall said. “Cycling is not just good for transportation, but for your health and the environment.”

Efforts are already being made to expand the bike program.

Not only are UNT resources showing interest -such as the We Mean Green Fund – is also being looked into. Already, the program is already taking precautions towards preventing theft.

“We’re not really worried about students misplacing the bikes, but theft of bikes is a problem here at UNT,” Juturu said. “We’re working with the UNT Police to get the bikes registered.”

The bikes are 6-gear hybrid bicycles made by the brand Torker.

“The bicycles are a little higher quality and ride a lot better than what most people ride on,” Yan said. “Most importantly, I just hope the program has allowed people to bring cycling into their life.”

Roden said the program hopes to add more bikes through donations.

“On any given day, we have about 80 bikes parked in front of our building,” Roden said. “We’d like to encourage the owners of these bikes to voluntarily loan their bike to the bike share program. This would be a quick, cheap and very sustainable way to add to our bike fleet and take advantage of already existing resources.”

The expanded program is slated to start in the fall.

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