A new bike-sharing program is offering University of Nebraska-Lincoln students a way to get around campus.
BikeLNK is a new bike-sharing program owned by the city of Lincoln. BikeLNK is a series of kiosks accompanied by an automated bike rack which allows the public to rent bikes at their leisure.
The kiosk features a release mechanism so when someone scans their tag it releases the bike and allows them to ride it and return it to any kiosk.
There are 19 BikeLNK stations throughout downtown Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus area, including three City Campus locations, two East Campus locations and one location on Nebraska Innovation Campus.
The general public pays the standard four tier pricing. The tiers include $3 for a ride of 30 minutes or less, $10 for 72 hours, $12 for a monthly pass and $80 for a year. UNL affiliates, including alumni, faculty, staff and students, receive a special discount for an annual pass and only pay $10.
Jordan Messerer, assistant director of Campus Recreation and the Outdoor Adventure Center, thinks the bike sharing program will fill a niche on campus.
“The people that we see accessing the bike shop right now are people who already own bikes and use them for longer rides...so the bike share is really geared toward 30-minute rides to travel a mile or two to a destination around town,” he said. “I think the bike share [program] fits another need on campus of bikes.”
Messerer said that bikes are known as the “last mile” of public transportation, meaning instead of walking from a parking lot or bus stop to class, students could ride a bike.
“If you take a bus into town you could ride a bike for the last mile instead of waiting for a bus which could take 15 or 20 minutes, you could grab a bike and be there in five minutes,” he said.
Messerer also said the bike share program would increase interest in bikes and increase traffic at the Outdoor Adventures Bike Shop
“I believe that once a student realizes how easy it is to get around campus on a bike we’ll see more people buying bikes or renting a bike from our shop,” he said.
In the end, bikes offer just another option for students to travel, and the bike share program makes that option even more convenient, according to Messerer.
“The fastest way to get through campuses is by a bike, a bike doesn't have schedule [like a bus] and you can ride it door to door,” Messerer said.