North Central College welcomed back the Cardinal Red Bike program today opening up 200 bicycles for students on campus.
The program, which is a completely free service, allows North Central students to sign up for a bicycle online before the start of the fall and winter terms. The students who were able to successfully reserve a bicycle are able to pick it up in Jefferson Plaza today, tomorrow, and Saturday, from 11:00am to 5:00pm.
The program, originally launched in October of 2006, began as a bike share program where riders could use any bike that was available among share stations. Today the program follows an online reservation system and is consider a rental service. Students must park bikes at the designated racks and return the bikes at the end of the term.
Sophomore Anna Nenoff says she loves using the program. “I plan on getting a bike during spring term. I used one last year and I like having a bike on campus. It makes getting around really easy and quick.”
Emanuel Pavlopoulos, Parking and Transportation Services Coordinator at North Central, says the Cardinal Red Bike program is growing in popularity. “We have 200 bikes and we have between 260 to 280 participants registered. Students who were not able to reserve one of the first 200 bikes are put on a waitlist.”
Students on the waitlist for a bicycle aren’t completely out of luck. Pavlopoulos states that sometimes riders decide to return the bike and other times bikes are confiscated from riders who aren’t following the guidelines, such as parking the bike at a tree or bench.
The program also complements North Central College’s sustainability initiatives. The college joined The Princeton Review’s list of “greenest” colleges in North America in 2013, partly due to the Cardinal Red Bike program’s inclusion in alternative transportation for the school.
This year could continue improving sustainability efforts on campus. “This year and last year have been the biggest years so far for the program,” Pavlopoulous says. “Since 2006 we have had a 15% decrease in vehicles owned by college students on campus.”
Students taking advantage of the program can also service their bike for free at the bike shop located on campus at 224 E. Chicago Ave.
For more information on the Cardinal Red Bike program, including guidelines and safety tips when using the service, students can visit Campus Safety’s Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.