Green and easy transportation


What started as an idea a year and a half ago has turned into a full-fledged program today. The Bike Share program stemmed from a class project, but is now up and running, and and available to UNI students. 

For only $35 per semester, students can rent a bike and chain from the Nielsen Fieldhouse.

The program was designed entirely by students, and the NISG and the Office of Sustainability have been working together to find bikes to rent out to students.

Eric O’Brien, University Sustainability Coordinator, has been with the Bike Share program since the beginning. According to O’Brien, there are numerous perks to renting a bike through the program.

Firstly, the bikes are stored for renters during the winter. The program also takes care of all bike maintenance, allowing students to avoid all the extra costs of owning a bike, such as repairs and maintenance.

According to O’Brien, almost all of the original 20 bikes have been checked out. However, the Bike Share team purchased an additional 20 bikes last month, and many of those are ready to be rented out.

“There is a low cost to be able to just rent the bikes for a semester and not have to worry about owning and maintaining the bikes themselves,” O’Brien said.

Because the program is so new, many students aren’t aware of it yet. Renae Beard, Student Body Vice President, is trying to change that. “We’re hoping to produce graphics to begin a more cohesive social media movement,” Beard said.

With the program’s newfound attention, Beard hopes more people will be attracted to renting their bikes rather than making the commitment of purchasing them new.

“We are still working through some kinks like you do with any new organization,” said O’Brien, “but so far it’s been a really positive program.”

Some of these reported kinks are in relation to winter storage. According to O’Brien, the current storage spot in the Nielsen Fieldhouse may not be available this winter. As a result, the program will potentially have to cut down the number of bikes for storage, or find another spot completely.

“We’re trying to avoid outdoor storage as best as we can,” O’Brien said. “We want everyone to come in and pick up their bike in its best condition. With the sun and the rain coming down on them, the last thing we want is for someone to come back after two months to find that their bike chain is rusted through.”

The program is also working on making the renting process as speedy as possible. O’Brien’s plan is for it to take about a day or so for students to turn in the release form to actually getting the bike itself.

There are still 15 bikes available to be rented out. Students can go to the NISG website to print off the Bicycle Rental Agreement & Release Form. Completed forms can be dropped off at the Student Involvement Center in Maucker Union.