ASMSU looking to launch new bike rental program
ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, approved a bill last week allowing the allocation of $52,800 to fund a bike share pilot program on campus, providing students and faculty members initially with 40 bikes to rent throughout the school year.
The program would allow students to rent from stations across campus, mostly located in front of residence halls. Each bike would be provided with a lock and, after registration, members would get a text message sent to their phones with a code for that lock.
ASMSU has identified residence halls as the best space to use for the pilot bike share program. In the long run, the student government wants to expand the number of locations across campus, depending on ridership needs.
ASMSU Vice President for Finance and Operations Michael Mozina said the undergraduate student government has been discussing the program for a year and a half, but only started working in-depth on it about four months ago. The student government is collaborating with Zagster, a company established five years ago, which provides campuses, hotels and apartment complexes with bike sharing programs.
“The program is a sustainability issue first and foremost,” said Michael Mozina, referencing the rising number of unused bikes outside of residence halls on campus.
A yearlong membership for students would cost $50, whereas a one-semester membership would cost $30 and $10 for a summer semester membership. Faculty members’ fees would be higher, costing $75 for a yearly membership, $40 for a semester and $20 for the summer.
Renting a bike by the hour would also be an option for non-members. Students would pay $1 per hour, whereas faculty members would pay $3 and other non-student members of the community would pay $5.
Mozina said only 1,000 students and faculty members would be able to get a membership for the pilot program once it is launched because of the small number of bikes. Memberships will be available for purchase online.
ASMSU doesn’t have an exact date when the pilot program will launch because they are waiting on the approval of the Residence Education and Housing Services, or REHS, on the space.
“We want the university to have trust in this (program) so that they would be less likely to pull the plug at any time in the future,” Mozina said.
Residential and Hospitality Services Communications Manager Kat Cooper said ASMSU officials met with REHS and were asked to schedule meetings with other partners, like MSU Bikes.
Advertising senior Shelby Rothenberg said she is excited about the new program, but it is long overdue.
Rothenberg added that by implementing a bike share program, students wouldn’t need to worry about the maintenance of the bikes, which can be a challenge at times.