Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.
Parking at Colorado State University is an infamous problem that many students know all too well. While thousands of students bring bikes to campus each year, many commuter and off-campus students still get to campus via car or bus.
Parking is notoriously congested and hard to find — last year, then-candidates Ben Amundson and Alex Farias even ran on the slogan “parking over politics.”
While many students ride bikes to campus, they can be inconvenient for riding around town. It may be difficult to find bike parking, and there’s the added worry of bike theft. However, there is an alternative program that could significantly benefit students. Like bus passes, CSU should offer free Pace memberships for students through student fees.
By investing in Pace bike share, CSU could increase access to biking, thereby increasing access to alternative transportation.
In the past year, students may have noticed some different bikes parked on campus. Pace, a nationwide bike sharing program, has 250 bicycles located across Fort Collins for anyone to use.
CSU’s parking problem illustrates the need for convenient access to alternative and quick transportation.
By investing in Pace bike share, CSU could encourage students to bike both on and off campus, decrease carbon emissions and contribute to a more bike-friendly community. Pace represents a great transportation option for students, as they can be taken anywhere within Fort Collins’ City limits and can be parked wherever.
This means that Pace bikes could be used for students commuting within Fort Collins to campus and could significantly reduce traffic and the City’s carbon footprint, since many full-time students live off-campus in Fort Collins.
Currently, Pace offers a $4.99 monthly membership to students for unlimited 30 minute rides. Without a membership, students pay $1 every 15 minutes.
By investing in Pace and making it free for students, CSU could see a positive change in its parking situation while supporting its green initiatives. Investing in Pace can encourage students to ride bikes more often, as there are no maintenance fees or the added expense of purchasing a bike lock.
While students can ride Transfort buses for free, they are often inconvenient or untimely and may not reach a student’s residence. Investing in Pace memberships for CSU students would increase accessibility to biking, taking away the stress and hassle of riding the bus.
With a free Pace membership, students could simply bike to and from school while keeping the service accessible for Fort Collins residents. As annual memberships only cover 30 minute rides, both residents and students alike can take advantage of the service.
Even students who own bikes on campus can benefit from the service. If students want to bike to Old Town or check out a new trail system, a free Pace membership could encourage them to bike more often without having to worry about repairs or maintenance, allowing them to simply enjoy the ride.
To fix their parking problem, CSU still has a long way to go. But by investing in Pace bike share, CSU could increase access to biking, thereby increasing access to alternative transportation. It will not solve parking, but it will go a long way by getting more students on bikes.
Promising to solve parking routinely unifies the student body. If students want to see change, they should be rallying around “Pace over politics” instead.
Corinne Neustadter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CorinneN14.