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Transportation Services to launch bike-share program

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012

Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 23:09

Maroon Bikes photo

Chase Krumholz - THE BATTALION

Freshman general studies major Kyle McKelvey rides his rented MaroonBike outside of the MSC. Bike rate for an academic year is $35.

As a college student, the decision to purchase a bicycle can seem like an expensive commitment, particularly if one isn’t sure the bike will be used enough to justify the purchase.

Luckily for students at Texas A&M, Borrow-a-Bike, a short-term bike lease program from Transportation Services, will soon be available.

Students and employees who choose to participate in the new program can borrow a MaroonBike for a short period of time. Bicycles that are leased are due back the next day by 10 a.m. If the student borrows a bicycle on a Friday it must be returned the following Monday morning.

“The bikes were provided by MaroonBikes as part of the campus bike lease agreement,” said Ron Steedly, alternative transportation manager for Transportation Services. “So we are able to provide the service at almost no cost to our department.”

There is no added cost for current Texas A&M students and employees for the Borrow-a-Bike program. The program’s fleet of bikes is completely composed of MaroonBikes.

“We wanted to use the MaroonBikes since they are designed with durability in mind,” Steedly said. “The bikes are maintenance free and we needed that so we would always have bikes for the program.”

MaroonBikes are a breed of bicycles that have a lifetime warranty and are handmade in Texas. The bicycles have many distinguishable features that make them nearly indestructible and set them apart from bikes that are made cheaply without regard to longevity.

“What makes them rust proof and what makes them so durable, most bikes you get at a bike store are just regular paint, whereas ours are powder coated and what isn’t powder coated is stainless steel,” said Ryan Wood, inventory manager at MaroonBikes. “The bike can withstand rain, hail, salt and it won’t corrode anywhere.”

The new program is designed to be beneficial to all students, whether they already own a bike or not.

“There may be times when you just need a bike,” Steedly said. “As a bike owner, I rely on my bike for transportation. If it breaks, I can now take it to the shop for repair and borrow a bike so I am never without transportation.”

The Borrow-a-Bike program was brought to Texas A&M by Peter Lange, executive director for transportation services, after he visited a university with a similar program.

“It’s a great way for students, faculty and staff to see if biking to and from or around campus will work for them,” Lange said.

For students who are still unsure about biking on campus, this program will give them an opportunity to do a test drive.

Tara Obeid, senior applied mathematical sciences major, walked to classes for the previous years and feels the program will be helpful.

“I’ve considered getting a bike before because I’d get to class faster,” Obeid said. “But I haven’t actually bought one because there’s the chance I wouldn’t like riding it on campus and then it would just waste away locked to a bike rack. Maybe now I’ll try biking to see what
it’s like.”

It is also important to keep in mind that Borrow-a-Bike is a basic form of a bike share.

“We ask the Aggie community members that use the program to be conscious about bringing back the bike when you are finished using it so it is available to another Aggie that may need a bike,” Steedly said.


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