Whether you’re traveling between Main and Priory campuses, or you want to explore the greenery of River Forest, BikeDU is in its second year of offering students free transportation. Dominican’s BikeDU, a free bicycle loan program, is available to all Dominican students and faculty with a valid ID.
“Amy McCormack, who is the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, had the initial idea of having bikes available for everyone to go between Dominican’s two campuses. Then it sort of morphed into the con
cept of a free bike-lending program,” Carol Seley, Administrative Assistant to Senior Vice President of Administration, said.
According to Mary Sadofsky, the supervisor of Dominican’s Welcome and Information Center, surveys and census materials were used to see if such a program would thrive in the Dominican community. The surveys reported a large interest in a potential bike loan program and in the spring of 2010, the program was started. Since then, some changes have been made to the program.
Recently, the Sinsinawa Sisters donated two spots in the parking garage for new BikeDU racks. Each rack holds 24 bikes and shelters them from the elements. Additionally, 86 new bike spots with the new racks are in the process of being installed.
“The new racks are located in two ground floor parking spaces in the parking garage,” Seley said. “Bike DU is encouraging bike users to use these covered racks, since the location will be ideal to protect the bicycles from the elements.”
According to Elena Maans, administrative assistance and sustainability coordinator, the program is also using refurbished, donated bikes this school year.
“It’s another way of recycling with sustainability, similar to how we reuse and repurpose the older buildings on campus,” Maans said.
Barnard’s Schwinn Cycling and Fitness Center Ltd. has generously donated bike repairs and maintenance. BikeDU apprentices, DU engineering staff and other members of the physical plant also repair and maintain the bikes, according to Sadofsky. While the university doesn’t cover damages or loss caused by user-negligence, flat tires and upkeep maintenance is provided.
“This program is forward thinking for this and the next generation of DU, and it will keep the wheels of creative minds and bodies rolling on a go-forward basis,” Sadofsky said.
BikeDU can be accessed between March and November of each school year on Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Bikes can be checked out for 24 hours on weekdays. If a bike is checked out on a Saturday, the bike is required to be returned either that night or the following Monday, which would permit full weekend usage. The loaned bike must be returned to the same location from which it was checked out.
– Neil Helfgot, Staff Reporter