Thousands of students travel to The University of Louisville campus every school day. While their routes and reasons may differ, more and more students are getting around on campus in the same fashion. A growing number of Cardinals are using bikes to rush to their 8 a.m. classes, grab a bite to eat or to simply enjoy college life.

louisville bikeshare abandoned bikes

A collection of abandoned bikes will be restored and put into the BikeShare program.

Louisville’s BikeShare Successes

But these riders are different than those you’d see on other college campuses. Many are taking advantage of the University’s BikeShare program, which allows students and faculty to check out a bike, lock and helmet for free. Eleven different locations around campus supply bikes that have been restored as part of Louisville’s sustainability initiatives.

justin-mog“We’ve built our bikeshare fleet up by paying a student bike mechanic intern to restore bikes that were abandoned on campus, impounded and not claimed. We’re also able to reuse a lot of spare parts from the inventory of abandoned bikes to do that work. In fact, we just got a delivery this week of 15 abandoned bikes.”

Justin Mog | Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives

This increased supply of bikes is helping meet the increase in demand, especially as the weather turns in Northern Kentucky. The program has proven that bikes can be a popular option among residents in urban settings, as commutes are typically short and parking is easy. Not to mention that it’s free. Convenience and affordability will always have a home on college campuses.

bikes in urban settings

While biking in itself is a sustainable mode of transportation, Louisville has taken it a step further by restoring and reusing abandoned bikes. Simply put, every bike or part being used is one that would otherwise end up in the landfill. It’s all part of larger vision to promote sustainability for the residential community at UofL. Sustainability groups across campus look to incorporate sustainability initiatives in as many internal processes as possible.

keeping-things-out-of-landfill

Bike sharing programs like the one at Louisville are popping up on college campuses and in cities across the country, providing an affordable and sustainable way to get around. As highlighted by Justin, more and more riders are taking advantage of all the benefits bikes provide:

  • A chance to get outside and burn calories while getting where you need to go.
  • A quick and easy mode of transportation for trips under a few miles.
  • Free parking right outside the door of your destination.
  • Never having to hunt for a space to park or having to park far away and walk.
  • A chance to get to know the neighborhoods and landscapes you navigate through.
bike share programs

Image via Richard Masoner

A vast set of initiatives and student groups make UofL one of the most sustainable campuses in the country. Students and faculty have opportunities to grow sustainable food sources, create climate action plans and lead campus events.  Louisville even offers interdisciplinary degrees in Sustainability at the Bachelors and Masters levels.

For more information on Louisville’s BikeShare program and all of their sustainability initiatives, visit the UofL Sustainability page. If you have a campus sustainability project or organization worth spotlighting, please contact me at danielj@budgetdumpster.com.