Currently, dark green bikes with Binghamton University logos are being manufactured. Soon, they will come to campus, courtesy of Gotcha Bike.
This fall, the University’s student-operated bike-share program will be taken over by Gotcha Bike, which will be providing new bicycles and bike racks, as well as streamlining bike-share services through the Gotcha Bike app.
Gotcha Bike runs bike-share programs at 22 college, residential and corporate campuses across the United States. The company will be providing 30 bikes at four locations on campus. If the new program is successful, more bikes will be added.
According to Cornelia Mead, assistant vice president for student affairs administration and auxiliaries, the new program comes in light of increasing problems with the current bike-share system.
“As the student-operated Bike Share program has developed over several years, we have been working with the student leaders of the program on how to improve the technology and flexibility of the program,” Mead wrote in an email. “Challenges have included bikes not returned, rentals limited to when the desk can be staffed, and lack of a consistent look identifying the bicycles.”
The Gotcha Bike partnership is expected to fix many of these issues, according to Mead. The bikes will be GPS-tagged to discourage bike theft and will be easily identifiable. Furthermore, because students rent bikes through the app, the bikes can be reserved at any time. Like the student-run bike share, the Gotcha Bike system will keep bikes free for students, faculty and staff to use, but fees will be charged if the bike is kept overtime or is not returned to the Gotcha Bike racks.
Although the Bike Share Club will no longer be running the bike-share program on campus, it will still exist and remain in its maintenance office in the basement of the University Union. Mead wrote in an email that the club will likely be tasked with maintaining the new bikes.
“The Bike Share student group continues be actively involved in all decisions about the program and the rollout,” Mead wrote. “We anticipate that the students will continue to provide the actual maintenance on the bikes and we continue to work with the vendor to make that part of our final arrangement.”