The Zagster bikes that have recently been added to campus offer students a convenient and efficient way to traverse campus. Therefore, if students want future students to benefit from the program, they must use the bikes
SGA worked with Zagster, a bike-share program with locations around Conway, last year to set up a bike-share program on campus.
Although students may already have a way to rent bikes through the Campus Outdoor Pursuits and Activities Program, the Zagster program is much more convenient as students don’t have to walk to the HPER to rent a bike.
The bikes will be available for the next two years because of a contract SGA signed with Zagster. During these next two years, students can use the bikes and see if they want to keep them on campus for the following years.
The contract is funded partially by SGA reserves and partially by UCA Housing and Residence Life. Students can gain access to the bikes by using the Zagster App.
Even in the first week of implementation, students have been taking advantage of the bikes. At any given time, one can see flocks of people gathered at the racks to take the bikes from one place to the other.
The four main areas where these bikes are found are the Farris/HPER Center area, the Student Center, Donaghey Hall and the Bear Village Apartments.
These are all areas with a lot of traffic, which means placing bike racks in these areas could be very useful for students. And if someone is running late to class, he could fairly easily grab a bike and ride to another Zagster dock, with plenty of time to make it to the next class.
The analytics Zagster gathers regarding bike use will be examined to determine whether or not the bike racks will remain in the future.
The docks are placed so that they can be easily removed without drastically harming the campus environment. The bikes were installed keeping in mind that the program might not continue.
Therefore, using the bikes now is important for determining if the continued existence of the program is warranted.
It’s important to keep in mind that, once the program is up and if the contract is renewed, students might need to pay for the bikes either with each individual student who wants to use the bikes paying a $20 membership fee for the start of the year for full access or adding a $1-2 dollar fee to the athletics fee, so everyone has equal access to the bikes.
Although students might be against an increase in fees, it’s important to keep in mind that this is merely speculation as to how to pay for the program in the future, if it’s useful to students.
Additionally, even if a single person doesn’t use the bikes, the fee would help students who can’t traverse campus easily, which would be especially useful to students without access to cars.
Essentially, if students want the program to remain in effect, initial use of the Zagster bikes in these early stages is essential to keeping the program up and running for current and future students.