By Noa Maltzman Recently, in major cities across the world, bike share programs have sprung up into the public use. People rent a bike at one rack location, pedal around for a while, and simply drop it off at any bike rack in the city. As of June, Skidmore has expanded their bike share program from last year’s. Originally started in Fall 2013, bikes were checked out like library books, from the library desk. Now, individuals have a personalized pin. “Before we were relying on the library and the library hours and now people have 24 hour access to the bicycles,” said sustainability coordinator Levi Rogers.
With grant funding from the Margaret Cargill Foundation, the bike share program changed. “After our [old] program became so successful, we sought funding to expand the program, both in size and functionality,” said co coordinator of the program senior Emily Durante. Rogers explained that the old program was so successful that, “when we first launched that program the library kind of felt overwhelmed because all the bicycles were being taken out over and over again. So as soon as a bike came in, that same bike would leave.”
So from now until November (or when the snow arrives) then starting again in
late March, for any member of the Skidmore community in need of some wheels need not worry because there is a new bike program called Bikemore. “Once a user obtains a personalized PIN from the Sustainability Office, they have access to the bikes 24/7,” said Durante.
“The program is open to the entire college community, so I think it’s really cool to see faculty/staff biking to a lunch meeting or students biking downtown to explore Saratoga Springs,” Durante said.
The new bikes came from a Rhode Island company called On Bike. Unlike the old ones, these new bikes are designed for bike share programs and are very durable. The old bikes were donated by Bikeatoga and, because used, they required lots of maintenance and repair.
Currently the only bike share rack is located outside the library. However, it is likely the bike share program will grow to include the larger Saratoga Springs community. Durante talked about how, “over the summer, the City of Saratoga Springs launched a pilot bike share program that went incredibly well, so the prospect of a city-wide bike sharing program is definitely on the horizon and Skidmore would naturally be involved.”