Slow start for STU bike share program

It’s been a slow start for the St. Thomas University bike share program.

The program allows STU students, faculty and staff to pay a $20 yearly membership to be able to borrow a bike for up to six hours. Bikes can be borrowed as many times as desired.

The program launched in May but only has five subscribers so far.

Tami Hill, who is part of the university’s wellness committee, which helped establish the program, said she expects usage to increase.

“We didn’t get it up and running until May so most of the students were already gone, but we expect it to really pick up toward middle (to) end of August when the students start coming back,” said Hill.

“We expect it to pick up and we expected it to be a bit of a slow start.”

The service is run out of the J.B. O’Keefe Gym where users can register and pick up a bike.

Hill said the service will be run as a test for a year and if it is successful they may expand it.

The University of New Brunswick has a similar service which STU used as a model to create the program.

Hill said it gives students one more option to be active.

“We wanted something that the students could especially be involved in,” she said.

“It was just to get people more active and give them something different. We have the fitness centre, we have classes, they can walk, and there is the pool down the hill.”

The cost to start the program, at $1,700, was split equally between the students’ union and the university.

Five bikes, helmets and other equipment was purchased.

Savages, a bike shop downtown, will be doing monthly maintenance and provided training for the fitness centre staff members so they can help bike users before their first use.

Hill said the $20 sign-up fee will be used for maintenance costs and not to recoup the cost of starting the program.

The bikes will be available from May to October depending on the weather.

She said if anyone has any feedback about the program they can contact her at thill@stu.ca.

For more information about the program please go here.

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