Laurier Sustainability Office introduces new bike hubs on campus

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The sustainability office at Laurier has introduced new bike hubs on campus to make transportation for commuting students and students wanting to get around in the area alike.

Laurier is one of six community partners included in a pilot project bike-share program developed by Drop Mobility, operating with a similar business model to the Lime scooter pilot projectin the region.

“Obviously with the light rail transit being available for the first full school year, the Laurier Drop station is actually in Waterloo Park. That’s the closest one that was set out by the region, but it gives the option for students who use their transit pass that’s included in tuition; whether they take a bus or the LRT, it’s about a 15 minute walk to campus – but Drop gives them a multi-modal transportation option,” said Katarina Milicic, the outreach and programs coordinator for Laurier’s sustainability office.

“They can take the ION up to the park, but it’s easier for them to take a five minute bike ride in November instead of walking for 20 minutes; obviously in the winter a bus route may be more accessible, but hopefully [in] just under nine months they [will] have an option to have a nearby hub that has the bikes.

There will also be bikes available on campus, with locations such as the athletic complex, Willison Hall, Leopold residence, the science building, mid-campus drive and the Schlegel building, as well as other points throughout the region. The bikes can be rented via the Drop app for either $1 an hour or $15 a month.

“Giving an additional option to transportation is nice because it’s not always as simple as taking one bus and getting where you need to be. You’ll have one route that takes you to one location, but you have to walk 10 minutes to the stop and 10 minutes after you get off — sometimes that creates a barrier so you’ll take a car,” Milicic said.

“There’s no direct correlation that bikes on campus will decrease the amount of car usage, but it gives an additional option for students who may have seen that as a barrier beforehand. They can sit on the ION and then have a bit more active transportation, especially if they don’t want a spot to park or lugging a bike around campus.”

Similar to the Lime scooters, the Drop Mobility bikes can be locked and left at certain infrastructures all around the region as well as at the bike hubs that are scattered through Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge.

“In terms of cost, if you use it three times a week for a school year versus what it actually costs to purchase a bike, it’s a very affordable and sustainable option. It gives that additional flexibility for students, staff and faculty who would’ve even seen walking as a barrier,” Milicic said.

“With Lime scooters, it was a pilot but having it with the city — there were different rules and by-laws that had to be abided by, but with bikes, you’re already allowed to bike and there are lanes put in place to bike. We should have scooters and bikes on campus because there should be connections to transit, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the university.”

More information can be found here.

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