By summer’s end, the Student Association hopes to install bike racks on all of Off Campus College Transport’s blue buses.
The University committed $13,000 to transit bike racks from Sportworks, according to Pete Napolitano, the director of auxiliary services at Binghamton University, which he hopes will be delivered by the end of May.
OCCT hopes to have the racks installed before the fall semester begins, according to Steve Dixon, the director of public relations for OCCT and a senior majoring in cinema. By the start of the spring semester, he hopes that all of the drivers will have been trained to operate the racks, he said.
Dixon said the idea of installing bike racks had been tossed around OCCT for a while, and he believes their addition is a worthwhile service.
“It gives students who normally wouldn’t be able to ride our buses the opportunity,” he said. “If someone didn’t live on one of our routes but had a bicycle, they could ride their bike to our stop and still get to where they need to go.”
Although the University paid for the racks, installing them them will increase the SA’s insurance costs slightly, according to Eric Larson, the SA vice president for finance and chief financial officer for OCCT.
“The exact [cost] has not been told to us,” he said. “But we are acting on the belief that it will not be an extremely large increase in the cost.”
The bike racks should not interfere with the buses’ ability to run on schedule, according to Dixon.
“It may take some time for people to get comfortable with them, but I think that will be the largest hurdle,” he said. “Once people get good at it, give it a few months…and I don’t foresee any scheduling problems at all.”
Dario Tapia, a junior majoring in economics, said bike racks should be installed if there is student demand, but said he worries about the added costs and the potentially time-consuming process of loading and unloading bikes.
“I don’t really think they are necessary. I have never heard anyone saying they thought it was necessary,” he said. “I think it would add to costs and maintenance and cyclists may be to slow to load their bikes or one day a bike may fall off.”
But Jake Robison, the vice president of Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions (IDEAS), is more optimistic. Robison, a junior majoring in environmental studies, said adding bike racks is a step toward a greener campus.
“It’d be great if we could incentivize people to not use private transportation,” he said. “Everybody has a responsibility to the environment.”