Bum-A-Bike program provides free use of bicycles on campus

Michelle White

Michelle WhiteReporter

Starting this month, students can check out neon yellow bikes to ride to class.

Students will soon be seeing more bikes on campus as the Students’ Association kicks of its new bike-sharing program, Bum-A-Bike, this month.

The program includes 40 neon yellow bikes with “Bum-A-Bike’ painted on the sides. Bikes will be free for students to check out.

The bikes were a donation from the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls, said Jed Reimnitz, SA programming affairs coordinator.

“Inmates fixed up the bikes and painted them for SDSU.”

The bikes will be located in certain areas around campus, including Medary Commons, Hansen Hall, the Wellness Center, The Union and Larson Commons Complex, Reimnitz said.

Reimnitz said students can check out the bikes using their student ID numbers and will have to sign a liability form. Bikes must then be returned to the same location where they were checked out.

“The idea is that students can check out and return bikes from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.,” Reimnitz said. “It would be a free rental for one day.”

SA has considered longer check out periods, he said.

“We have entertained second day free use and possibly a week,” he said.

While SA members have looked into allowing a wide variety of campus individuals to use the bikes, for now they will be available only to students.

“We have to limit it at this point to just students until we can expand the program,” Reimnitz said.

Eric Robinson, a junior pre-pharmacy major, said he thinks the Bum-A-Bike program is a great idea.

“It will be interesting to see how it works out in application,” he said.

Erin Kennedy, SA vice president, thinks the program is “unique and innovative.”

“I’m a commuter student,” she said. “The program is an ideal situation to have quick transportation on campus.”

Kennedy said the zero-cost for students is hard to beat.

“Bikes aren’t cheap,” she said. “Free use of the bikes for students is great.”

SA has a second option for how students would use the bikes from the program.

“We wanted to try the program on a honor system basis,” Reimnitz said. “Bikes would be laying around campus and students would use them and leave them wherever they wanted.”

He said it would be the most convenient option.

However, after asking students, SA found the honor system was not a smart decision.

“I personally am an advocate for the student ID system,” Kennedy said. “The honor system is a great idea, but I don’t think our culture is to that point yet.”

Robinson has similar feelings.

“I’d like to think it’s a good idea, but I am skeptical.” he said. “I guess I’m not that trusting of my fellow peers.”

After the program’s launch later in the year, changes along the way could follow.

“The futuristic goal is to save or raise enough money to have a kiosk where students would swipe their ID card, the bikes would be unlocked, and they could return them to any kiosk on campus,” Reimnitz said.

Reimnitz said if students have any input or opinions about the possibility of using the honor system, to call 605-688-5181, stop by the SA office or email him at [email protected].