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Editorial: Campuses Get Free Bikes, We Want Them, Too

This story was written by , Iowa State Daily

Students at the University of New England are getting free rides this year. On bicycles, that is.Recently, the university allocated $50,000 to give any student a $480 bicycle. So, whats the catch?There is none well, besides promising to keep your vehicle at home.Interestingly,UNE isnt alone in this. Several other colleges and universities aroundthe nation are promoting the idea with programs of their own.So come on, Iowa State. We want our free bikes too!WithIowa State promoting sustainability through its Live Green campaign,we ask those on the presidents advisory committee on energyconservation and global climate change to take a serious look intogiving students easier access to clean transportation.Granted,students can rent a mountain bike from recreation services for $10 perday, but for that money it might be more economical to get a cab.Whatwere saying is that with the cost of gas, permits and yes, parkingtickets itd be refreshing to see a progressive program come out ofthe new campaign.There have been problems with theft andvandalism at some schools, though. However, reception seems positiveaccording to a recent New York Times article.Were seeing anexplosion in bike activity, said Julian Dautremont-Smith, associatedirector of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability inHigher Education, a nonprofit association of colleges and universities.It seems like every week we hear about a new bike sharing or bikerental program.This campus is already designed in some areas for both pedestrian and bicycle traffic.Why not capitalize on it?Whetherits like Emory University who offers free bike rentals at sixlocations around its campus, or even St. Xavier University in Chicagothat just started loaning out bikes to students at computer-controlledlocations on its campus, this is one green innovation wed like to see.So please Iowa State, take a look at these programs already gaining steam across the country and consider it for us.Were not asking for handouts or free stuff, were asking for some initiative on your part.We think youd be surprised at the response.
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