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UNT to provide affordable 30-minute bikes in partnership with bike-share company Spin

UNT to provide affordable 30-minute bikes in partnership with bike-share company Spin

Student uses a bike lane on West Highland street in Denton. UNT will soon begin a partnership with Spin bicycle sharing company to increase the bicycle friendliness of the UNT campus.

UNT to provide affordable 30-minute bikes in partnership with bike-share company Spin
March 21
14:47 2018

UNT will be partnering with bike-share company Spin to provide students, faculty and staff with the benefit of mobility for the cost of just $.50 for 30 minutes..

The official launch of the six-month pilot has been delayed due to the branding of the bicycles, said Trista Moxley, UNT ‘s senior communications transportation specialist.

Spin is a stationless bike-share company working on transforming cities and campuses by offering an accessible, affordable, and environmentally-friendly form of personal mobility, according to Spin.

A regular Spin bike is orange but the Spin bikes coming to the UNT community will be branded with the official UNT green color along with the school logo, said Christopher Phelps, senior director of transportation services at UNT. Phelps joked that around this part of Texas the color orange, especially burnt orange, the University of Texas at Austin’s school color, is frowned upon.

“I hear all the stories about the Coliseum,” Phelps said. “Apparently the Coliseum way back when had orange seats, so anytime we mention orange bikes they go ‘oh, that’s the Coliseum story.'”

It was UNT Transportation Services’ decision to launch a dockless bike-share program on campus and the department has done research on the matter over the summer and fall of 2017, Phelps said.

“We got an RFP (request for proposal) ready to go for a bike-share, but we have some dynamics,” he said. “With the city of Denton, we have [a] permitting process … maybe a pilot process will be a good thing, to see if this works and that doesn’t and adjust the RFP.”

When the Spin pilot program does officially launch, riders in the UNT community will be able to ride for $.50 for a 30-minute ride and will have the option to pay a monthly fee. The cost for unlimited 30-minute rides for one month is $14, three months for $29 and $49 for a year. Those prices are $29, $59 and $99 for non-student citizens of Denton.

Riders can drop off the Spin bikes around campus and off campus in the Denton area but will be recommended to stay on the UNT campus, Phelps said. The RFP will allow for the city of Denton and Texas Woman’s University to also participate in the bike-share.

To start off this pilot, 100 Spin bikes with UNT’s branding will be sent to the university, Moxley said. UNT will receive no financial benefits from this project and will only pay for the branding of the bikes, she said.

“Out of the pilot we want to learn a lot of the data,” Moxley said. “What is the right number of bikes to have on campus? Are the students even interested in using the bike-share versus using their own bike? We want to learn the data about what the students want and how it can be utilized correctly.”

Throughout the last year, bike-shares started popping up around Dallas and surrounding areas, receiving some negative response due to bicycles becoming common obstructions on sidewalks and elsewhere.

Director of Transportation and Aviation for the city of Denton Mark Nelson said the city identified safety and nuisance concerns after VBikes began operating in the Denton area during summer 2017.

“Denton is responding to experiences in Denton related to bike sharing with an understanding that the community has expressed a concern that the deployment of an unlimited number of bikes is not desired in Denton,” Nelson said.  “These issues were primarily associated with safety such as blocking sidewalks and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access as well as an obstruction to a line of sight at intersections.”

The Denton City Council began the request to look into “developing a policy to set operating guidelines,” in October 2017, Nelson said. He is not certain of a timeline for the official launch of Spin, but the company has indicated they will be submitting an application.  The city of Denton has yet to receive the application request.

“Currently, the ordinance establishes responsible deployment and management of bike-share assets, essentially encouraging a good neighbor approach,” Nelson said.

The data generated from the six-month Spin pilot program will help in the development of future bike-share programs and infrastructure, such as a long-term bike-share policy for Denton.

Feature Image: Student uses a bike lane on West Highland Street in Denton. UNT will soon begin a partnership with Spin bike-sharing company to increase the bicycle friendliness of the UNT campus. Kathryn Jennings

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Jacqueline Guerrero

Jacqueline Guerrero

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1 Comment

  1. Thomas
    Thomas March 28, 23:52

    why is the school paying to brand these? how much are they paying? how does this work with the cities bike count limit? and last i heard spin also had the same contract with twu. but 200 bikes is more than the city allows.

    ill ask pettyjohn next time i see him how those will work, but it seems like some of the information in this article will be incorrect.

    also, howdy jackie, if things work out how i expect them to, maybe youll be interviewing me about rebalancing for spin next time.

    Reply to this comment

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