ASCSU postpones bike-share deal that could add eight new stations

Gabriel Go

The Associated Students of Colorado State University sent Bill #4607 to committee, which seeks to allocate funds towards acquiring eight Zip Bike bike-share stations, on Wednesday night.

The bike share stations would be provided through through Zipcar and Zagster.

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The bill was sent to committee in order for senators to reach out with their constituents. According to Senator Duane Hansen, the bill has been on the senate’s agenda for two weeks, even though the bill was time sensitive.

ASCSU has been in talks with Zip Bike and the Parking and Transportations Services since 2015 in order to implement a bike-share program that would integrate with Fort Collins’s own bike-share system. The current deal with Zipcar and Zagster is a time-sensitive partnership which would secure eight bike-sharing stations on campus at a reduced cost. A finalized deal must be agreed on between ASCSU and the bike-share providers by early December.

“(The Alternative Transportation Fee Advisory Board) was already trying to find a way to fund bike-share at the initial cost of $9,000 (per) station,” ASCSU Director of Environmental Affairs Hanna Johnson wrote in an e-mail to The Collegian. “This better valued opportunity came up before ATFAB could get funding.”

The Zip Bike program will provide eight bike-share stations at a reduced cost. Under the new partnership with Zip Bike, the eight stations would cost $70,000 to operate for four years.

The bill seeks to earmark $29,500 from the Senate General Discretionary Fund to the Department of Environmental Affairs for the operation of the bike-share stations for the first year. Following the first year, the cost of operation would breakdown to $13,500 per year for the next three years.

Housing and Dining Services has also offered to subsidize this cost through the sustainability fee assessed by on-campus students. Any future expansions to Zip Bike will be the responsibility of the Alternative Transportation Fee Advisory Board.

The CSU campus currently has two bike share stations sponsored by the Alternative Transportation Department, which were paid at a regular price of $9,000 per station.

When the program was initially announced, 150 different universities across the nation applied to join, though only 15 campuses were eligible take part of the program. Though the program is highly competitive, CSU is eligible to receive the bike-sharing stations due to the its reputation as a bike-friendly campus.

CSU is a platinum-rated Bicycle Friendly University according to infrastructure and investment standards set by the League of American Cyclists.

The University is also a platinum-rated Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for its efforts in sustainability.

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As the Fall 2016 term also admitted the largest incoming class to date, the bike-sharing program is also seen as a way to keep up with the heavier traffic on campus.

Alternative Transportation also plans to add 300 more bike rack spaces on campus next month.

Collegian reporter Gabriel Go can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @rgabrielgo.