BikeShare at UB is back

Published April 3, 2014

After a successful debut last year, UB is again offering its bicycle-sharing program to faculty, staff and students.

BikeShare at UB places bikes at heavily traveled areas, or “hub locations,” throughout the North and South campuses. The idea is to give people an eco-friendly and quick option for short trips around campus while promoting better health and reducing vehicular traffic.

Last year, 215 faculty, staff and students utilized the program. In September, users averaged about 40 rides per day, or roughly 280 rides per week.

“I love the way that BikeShare program contributes to the university’s commitment to sustainability and the school’s culture of environmental consciousness,” said undergraduate business major and bike user Daniel Ovadia during an interview last year with UB’s Office of Sustainability.

Participants can locate and reserve bikes via GPS technology by using their mobile device and computer. They then have 15 minutes to get to and unlock the bike by typing in the provided PIN code. Participants also can make a reservation by using the bike’s keypad interface.

Once the bike is unlocked, the rider places the U-lock in the bike’s holster and has free use for the first hour. Each subsequent hour costs $3, with a maximum reservation of 24 hours.

To return the bike and complete the transaction, the rider drops off the bike at one of the BikeShare racks and secures it with the provided lock. Riders can lock the bike when they reach their destination and unlock it using the same PIN code. The code will reset when the transaction is completed.

The bikes are cruiser-style with an internal drive shaft — to reduce the risk of getting grease on the rider’s pants or socks — with a metal basket. If riders get a flat tire or experience a mechanical issue during their trip, they can press the keypad’s “Repair” button. A staff member will come to fix it.

There is a $30 annual fee to sign up for BikeShare at UB. Payable only by credit card, the fee supports more bikes and improved technology. The bikes will be available the entire year.

A partnership between the offices of Sustainability and Parking and Transportation Services, and Buffalo BikeShare, BikeShare at UB is one of many university initiatives that promote bicycling. The university has more than 800 bike parking spaces, numerous bike lanes and showers available to riders at Greiner Hall and Creekside Village apartments.

The efforts led UB to be recognized as a “Bicycle Friendly University” by the League of American Bicyclists.