Campus Bike-Share Rides Under the Radar

A free campus bike program benefits recreation over pollution.

Everyone complains about NYU buses being late, but what about NYU's other free transportation? NYU Bike Share Program offers a way to get around, especially for people who live in dorms that are far away from campus. (Staff Photo by Jorene He)

Since the weather’s getting nicer, take a bike ride!

Unknown to many, NYU has its very own program that allows students to rent bicycles for free.

“We can use bikes for free? I never even knew that existed,” LS sophomore Hana Bokhari said.

NYU Bike Share began in 2010 and is currently run by NYU’s Office of Sustainability. Advertised as a means to promote sustainability, affordability and accessibility, the program serves multiple purposes for students.

GLS first-year Hannah Schacht uses Bike Share mostly for recreation.

“I heard about it during Welcome Week, and I used it a few times last semester and just started using it again,” Schacht said.

After registering and completing an online safety module, any NYU student can use the bikes from any of the available listed locations, which include multiple residence halls around campus and the Kimmel Center for University Life.

Gallatin senior and Brittany Resident Assistant Kaitlyn McNab works at Brittany Residence Hall, one of the locations that offer the service.

“Most of the time when people check out the bikes it’s really athletic people or people going in groups with friends,” McNab said.

Schacht, who has used Bike Share with big groups of friends before, loves to ride on her favorite bike path in the city.

“There’s a really nice bike path that goes all the way around the southern tip of Manhattan, right along the water all the way around […] that’s usually my go-to,” Schacht said.

Bikes rented from NYU Bike Share must be returned to the same location from which they were rented before the office or Resource Center closes and cannot be kept overnight, which makes using them for commuting or other practical uses difficult. This could prevent students from using it as a quick way to travel around campus if they’re not returning home at the end of the day.

Although New York City laws say you do not need to use a helmet, NYU Bike Share requires it and provides each rider with one if they do not have one already. After checking out the bike, you must do a bike check to ensure that the tires, brakes and controls are all working and then you can be on your way.

NYU Bike Share is an alternative to other bike share programs, such as Citi Bike, and is also a free service for all students and faculty. The Bike Share service could be improved, however, if its website were regularly updated to reflect the number of bicycles available at all times, Schact said.

“The bike lanes are in the city for a reason; take advantage of them,” Schacht said. “Bike Share makes it so easy to go outside, and I think more students should know about [it].”

Especially as the weather gets warmer, NYU Bike Share is the perfect way to go on a bike ride — whether alone or with a friend — and see the city in full bloom.

Email Bella Gil at [email protected]

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