Students can now store their bikes safely in a shelter that is only opened with a key card.
Bike-n-Ride, a project through Colorado State University and the Fort Collins Transfort bus system, is supported by a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation, according to David Hansen, a campus landscape architect.
Construction for the new bike shelter at University Station will be finished by late November or early December and will be fully operating by January, according to Alternative Transportation Manager Aaron Fodge.
The University paid for 20 percent of the project and was granted the remaining 80 percent through the Transportation Alternatives Program, according to Fodge.
The shelter being built on campus will be located northeast of the University Station on University Avenue, according to Hansen.
There is one existing Bike-n-Ride shelter located at the South Transit Center. These bike shelters were designed so that people taking these transit routes will have somewhere to safely store their bikes until they commute to their next destination.
In order to make these shelters more beneficial for students, Hansen said he and his team are trying to find a way that Ram Cards will also work as a key card into the shelter.
“The best part is seeing this project come to fruition as part of this bigger transit initiative that we really started 10 or 12 years ago,” Hansen said. “Looking at the MAX project, that’s one piece, and now seeing that connectivity come to fruition with other amenities, and being what it is for our campus and community, is terrific.”
Emma Belmont, City of Fort Collins transit planner, said there are plans to build another shelter at the Downtown Transit Center. The TAP awarded money to this project, which is funded as a regional effort. She said these bike shelters improve accommodations for safe, secure, weather-proof bike storage.
“We’ve added more bike racks at all stations and are trying to pursue bike share, which could be an additional way to accommodate bikes,” Belmont said. “We’re making strides to have regional bike shelter access that will all have the same access card, so you (could) use these bike shelters throughout the region.”
The biggest reason people do not use transit is because of the last mile connection, which means the bus will only transport riders 95 percent of the way, according to Fodge. He said walking the extra mile that the bus will not go may be too far for some residents.
“Having a bike there helps them make the decision to ride transit, especially when students and employees get a free bus pass,” Fodge said.
People will need to apply in order to use one of the 35 bike slots in the shelter, according to Fodge.
“Anybody can use it, there’s no restrictions, we might have a fee just to make sure that someone who’s using it doesn’t just store their bike there,” Fodge said. “We want people who have their bike there to have a connection from transit, and that can be a student or an employee, it doesn’t matter.”
There is a spot for another bike shelter reserved near the Prospect Station to be built near the new health center, according to Fodge.
Boulder County also received grants for these key card shelters, ranging from Longmont to Boulder, according to Fodge, who said he is thankful to the University for reserving the space for this shelter. He said he is also thankful for being credited with enough money from TAP and CDOT to make this project happen.
“The best part of this has been that we collaborated with the city and Boulder County to be awarded the grant funds for this, and to be able to provide our employees and our students another opportunity to use transit,” Fodge said.
Collegian Reporter Pamela Shapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @pb_shapiro.