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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Orange Bike Program allows students access to free transportation

Nicholas Hennessy sees proof almost every day that his Orange Bike Program makes a difference for students and the environment.

“I walk across campus and see two, three, four people pass me by or cross my path who are riding an orange bike,” Hennessy said. “Hopefully they’re enjoying that, they’re getting to their destination [and] they’re understanding that it makes sense to ride a bike both from a health and recreation standpoint and from a sustainability standpoint.”

The Orange Bike Program was formed around 2009 by Hennessy, who is the University’s sustainability coordinator. He modeled this classic “community bike share” after other schools and cities with similar programs.

At the time, Hennessy was looking for greater ways to make the University more environmentally friendly, but the program had low membership and few bikes.

The area where volunteers worked on the bikes was also not very impressive, Hennessy said, and the program operated exclusively on a volunteer or internship basis.

Now the bike share has nearly 250 members and with the increase in members came an increase in bikes.

It’s now easier than ever for members to hop on bikes because the bikes are located in more places, Hennessy said.

The Orange Bike Program reuses lost bikes provided to them by university police. A team of mechanics repairs any damages and paints all of the bikes orange to give them a similar look. This process keeps expenses low for those running the program and keeps the cost free for students.

And the bike share program doesn’t just rely on volunteers anymore.

“With the assistance of Campus Operations, we are able to employ a student bike mechanic to keep the bikes in working order and assist in administering the program and provide good service to our members,” Hennessy said.

Even with the changes and growth, the Orange Bike Program strives to keep its original focus.

“We are still focused on running a program that emphasizes sustainable, ‘emissions–free’ transportation, utilizing previously-used bikes,” Hennessy said, “so the program fits into the sustainability goals of BGSU of reducing emissions, reducing waste, and education/outreach in the sustainability area.”

Orange Bike Program members can access any Orange Bike on campus using the universal key provided to them at

registration.

“The main goal of the Orange Bike Program is to make it easier for students to choose alternate transportation as opposed to like burning fossil fuels with cars and things like that,” said Sustainability Assistant Joshua Chamberland. “So, what we do is we try to make it as easy as possible for students to sign up.”

When students join the bike program, they sign three documents: an application, a waiver form and a key receipt. They then learn four major rules for the program.

They are students must be a registered member to use an Orange Bike, Orange Bikes are for on-campus use only, they must always be locked to a campus bike rack and the rider is responsible for wearing a bike helmet and driving safely.

“They can pull those documents online…and bring them in [The Office of Campus Sustainability] and get their key that way,” Hennessy said. “Or they can go to one of our special events that we’ve had where we register people –like a one stop shop for

registration.”

The sign up process was quick, said sophomore Sultan Atekoja. He benefits from the program by being able to get to faraway places in a timely manner.

“Some of my classes are like 10 minutes apart,” Atekoja said. “I can’t walk there in 10 minutes.”

During the warmer months like August and September, the bike program holds events and sets up sign-up booths to encourage students to join.

One recent event was the Fall Welcome Bike Tour which, Chamberland said, was a “large bike ride down the Slippery Elm bike trail.”

“So our office in partnership with recreation wellness lead, I believe it was, a group of about 50 or so students on a bike ride, a nice afternoon bike ride,” Chamberland said. “It was geared towards primarily freshmen but we had a lot of upperclassmen as well take part.”

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