By Alyssa Schnugg
For almost a year, the University of Mississippi’s Bike Share program has helped students, residents and visitors save some gas, burn some calories and help the environment.
Started in September 2017, there are six hubs located on campus at the Student Union, Lamar Hall, Residential College, the Bike Shop and off campus on the Square.
The program is web-based, where people rent a bicycle online at www.gotchabike.com/ole-miss or through the Social Bicycles app by downloading the app and selecting the “Ole Miss Bike Share” network.
According to Mike Harris, director of parking and transportation at Ole Miss, since the programs started, there have been 1,626 active members. The bikes have made 5,950 trips and traveled 7,570 miles.
When compared to driving a vehicle, Harris said the hours spent using the bikes has saved 6,675 pounds of reduced carbon emissions with 302,805 calories burned and $4,390 saved by not spending money on gas and vehicle maintenance.
There are two available plans, depending on one’s affiliation with the university. The University Plan is for students, staff and faculty – who have an olemiss.edu or go.olemiss.edu email address. Members can rent a bike for two hours a day at no cost and $4 an hour for additional hours. The Community Plan allows one hour of free ride with $5 an hour for additional time. There is no membership fee and riders can “hold” 30 minutes a day during their rental period to allow riders time to stop to grab a drink or use the bathroom or simply to stop and rest for a few minutes.
After registering online or through the app, riders receive a 4-digit PIN code to unlock keypad on the bike. At the end of the trip, members lock their bike at one of the designated bike racks within the hub for free or any bike rack on campus for a small fee. Bikes returned outside of the bike system map will incur a $50 fee.