KEARNEY – Getting around just got easier for University of Nebraska at Kearney students.
UNK this week launched a bike share program that includes 40 bicycles and 80 parking stations located at six locations on campus: West Center, College of Education building, Wellness Center, Calvin T. Ryan Library, Nebraskan Student Union and Centennial Towers.
“Kearney is a wonderful, safe community with a great fitness trail system and easy access from the UNK campus to restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues,” said Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “In terms of health, environment and convenience, this partnership is a win-win for our students.”
A group of students presented the idea a few years ago, and the Kinesiology and Sport Sciences Department has led the effort, along with the Business and Finance Department, to bring the program to campus. The cost to implement the bike share program at UNK is $95,000.
“The bike share is a cool program that promotes health and wellness,” said Nita Unruh, chair of the Kinesiology and Sport Sciences Department.
The seven gear cruiser bikes by Zagster feature adjustable seats, front and rear lights, a U-lock and handlebar basket.
Unruh said the program will improve transportation and parking for students. “Parking is very limited for students on campus. Why drive from Founders Hall to West Center? You can ride and you don’t have to find a parking space,” she said.
Students pay a $20 annual membership fee to use Zagster bikes by the hour or day. Rides under three hours are free. Rides more than two hours cost $2 per hour, up to a maximum $20 per 24-hour rental.
Riders must be UNK or UNMC Kearney students, staff or faculty and be at least 18 years old. Students download the Zagster mobile app, enter a bike’s ID number and tap “Start Ride.” The app generates a code that can be used to open the bike’s lockbox.
A key located inside the lockbox operates the U-lock that attaches the bike to its station or other bike racks. Riders can ride the bikes anywhere, but the bike must be locked to a secure object when not in use. When finished, riders lock the bike at a UNK Zagster station, close the lockbox and tap “End Ride” in the Zagster app.
Unruh hopes the program eventually expands into the community.
“The availability of bikes on-demand fits the tech-enabled and active lifestyle of today’s students, while also making transportation more efficient for everyone on and near campus,” said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. “Bike sharing is increasingly seen as a key component of an overall campus transportation strategy, and we look forward to working with the university to make this program a success.”
Zagster is a provider of on-campus bike sharing programs and currently has hundreds of bikes in more than 30 cities.
Source: Nita Unruh, 308.865.8335, email@example.com
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, firstname.lastname@example.org
BICYCLE SAFETY TIPS
- Bicycles in the roadway are considered vehicles. Bicyclists ages 10 and older should ride like a vehicle – on the street, in the same direction as other traffic, and follow the same rules.
- Ride far enough away from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars.
- Signal in advance of a turn. Use correct hand signals so others can anticipate your actions.
- Sidewalks were designed for pedestrians. When bicycling on the sidewalk, give pedestrians the right of way and stop before crossing the street to give motorists time to see you.
- Wear a helmet. Helmets are effective in preventing traumatic brain injury.
- Always assume that you are not seen by others. When riding at night or in low visibility conditions, wear neon and fluorescent colors or clothing made from reflective material.
- Stay alert and never wear headphones while riding.
*From U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration