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VBikes are taking over Denton

VBikes are taking over Denton

A VBike sits on a bicycle rack outside of Sage Hall. More VBikes have been added to campus recently, leading students to decide whether they are more helpful or bothersome. Mallory Cammarata

VBikes are taking over Denton
February 14
22:22 2018

Rent-a-bicycle services have been dominating the city of Dallas and now they’re making their way to Denton and the UNT campus with VBikes. Over 30 bikes are in the area and more are on their way.

VBikes started after owner and founder David Shan saw the popularity of bicycles in China while working with Massimo Motor Sports and decided to bring the same idea to Dallas in December 2016, said Thomas Elliot, VBikes Denton manager.

The name “VBikes” comes from the design of the bikes — bars and handles in the shape of a letter “V.”

Elliot is in charge of moving the VBikes from place to place. As of now, there are 10 VBikes stationed on the UNT campus and 25 more placed near campus, Elliot said. In Denton — excluding Denton Square due to city complaints — there are 33 VBikes located throughout the city including public areas like Midtown apartments and places the Denton County Transportation Authority stops at.

“The city decided they didn’t like [VBikes] on the square, so I promptly removed them,” Elliot said. “But they used to be one of our busiest areas, that’s why there’s been a few more on campus recently, rather than pulling them to stock the square.”

As for VBikes on campus, senior communications transportation specialist Trista Moxley thinks they are a good addition to the university.

UNT is set to start a partnership with Spin Bikes, another bike sharing company based out of California, next month.

The VBikes allow for students who don’t have a car or a UNT parking permit to ride the bicycles to their destinations. Students may pay an hourly fee of one dollar or can pay a monthly fee of $14.95 for an unlimited amount of rides, according to VBikes. Riders pay via the free VBikes mobile application.

One concern for the VBikes on campus is bike safety. With the heavy construction and traffic on campus, riders need to be aware of their surroundings, especially around pedestrians, Moxley said.

“We want to make sure the campus is accessible and safe for everyone,” Moxley said. “I think that we are definitely making an effort to being bike friendly. There are plans to continue this effort in the next few years.”

VBikes are intended not only for riders to get around quickly but to limit the number of bikes on campus. Instead of students purchasing a bike on their own and having to maintain it, VBikes allows for them to pick one up and not worry about the hassle of caring for a bicycle.

“With the bike share, rather than buy that bike, put that money into a bike share [such as VBikes],” said Christopher Phelps, senior director transportation services. “Put that in there so you always have a safe, well-maintained bike and no more worry.”

Featured Image: A VBike sits on a bicycle rack outside of Sage Hall. More VBikes have been added to campus recently, leading students to question whether they are more helpful or bothersome. Mallory Cammarata

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Jacqueline Guerrero

Jacqueline Guerrero

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