Bike share program “one more option” to stay healthy

The bikes for St. Thomas University’s bike share program have been locked up until the snow clears in the spring.

Tami Hill, a member of the wellness committee at St. Thomas University, said the bike share program that started in May this year was a success.

“It’s going very well, we’ve got really good feedback on the program.”

Fourteen users signed up between May and Nov. 18.

STU students, faculty and staff were able to buy a $20 membership that allowed them to borrow a bike for up to six hours or overnight if they borrowed it late in the day.

She said the program started slow, with only five memberships in mid-summer, but increased once students started returning to campus.

Olivia Long, a student who graduated this year, but has returned to take a few more courses, signed up in October.

“I only used it for a month, but I found it really useful,” said Long.

“Since I work at the gym I would take a bike at night and return it the next morning when I had school. It was really easy to just bike home.”

She said because she lives at the bottom of the hill, it was faster than waiting for the bus. In the morning she would use the bike racks on the front of the buses to come back up the hill.

Long said it has helped her save some money.

“I’m guilty for using cabs a lot, so it makes a lot more sense,” she said.

The $20 membership fee is used for maintenance of the bikes.

The St. Thomas University students’ union matched the $850 spent by the university to start the program. The money was used to buy five bikes, helmets and locks.

Hill said she wants to have a larger publicity campaign next year to attract more users.

The program is a result of the wellness committee looking “for more ways to encourage faculty, students and staff to be active, therefore healthier,” said Hill.

“People can run, walk, go to the fitness centre, go to [fitness] classes, so the program is one more option” to stay healthy, she added.

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