By: Arcadia Davies
Image: Hannah Remmert
Whether going to class, lunch, club meetings, or hangouts with friends, walking is the primary form of transportation for most students on campus. To increase convenience for students, Miami is working on creating a bike share program available to all students.
The bike share project started as a Lean project in 2015, a continuous project working towards waste reduction, that involved Miami staff, professors, students, and local members of the community. Beginning small, the team hopes to start a semester-long bike rental for students in 2017. Eventually, they hope to implement a short-term bike rental, in which students can rent a bike for a one-time use.
The interdepartmental team for this project has provided a lot of support for research and implementation. People involved include employees from the Recreation Center, the Secretary for Infrastructure and Sustainability (read more about him here), and assistant director of Employee Health and Wellness, to name a few. Also involved are professors from the Kinesiology department and Western Program. In an Interdisciplinary Synthesis and Action class, students in the Western Program worked in six different teams on this project. One team created a survey asking where students would like bike racks and received over 300 responses. Another team focused on educating students about bike safety.
By providing better and safer options for biking on campus, Miami and Oxford have also been supportive in the mission of increasing bike use for students. For example, bike lanes have been added on several of the streets around campus. Additionally, BikeWise, a business uptown dedicated to selling, repairing and advocating for bike issues, is interested in partnering with student health and environmental organizations to participate in the bike share project.
By improving the biking culture at Miami, students can look forward to having a more convenient and efficient method of attaining bikes and getting around campus. And of course, there is the added benefit of reducing CO2 emissions by encouraging biking around Oxford instead of driving.
Beth Hagar, a Miami student and participant in the development of the bike share program perfectly sums up its value, “The Bike Share program is important to our community because it shows the commitment of Miami University to the needs of the students, to a healthy community, and to creating more sustainable modes of transportation.”
If you would like any more information about this project you can contact Dean Smith, manager of Recreation Physical Facilities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.