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A spirit that is not afraid

​Bike Share program to pedal onto campus late

War Eagle Bike Share will provide a new form of transportation for people on campus. Bike Share allows students and faculty to check out a bike from a campus hub to use for two hours free.

Bike Share was intended to be launched the fall 2015 semester, but paperwork complications delayed the start date. Gotcha Group and SoBi will perform the final routine inspection Jan. 4, and War Eagle Bike Share is scheduled to launch Jan. 13. 

The Gotcha Group is a national sustainable bike sharing program that partners with SoBi, or Social Bicycles, to create bikes that can be locked and unlocked using an app. 

There will be a total of 75 bikes spread out over 10 different campus locations. The hubs that will house the bikes will be located outside Village Dining, the Lowder Starbucks, Cambridge at Auburn, Student Center, near the South Donahue Residence Hall, Roosevelt Concourse, Courtyard by Terrell, Quad deck, near RO parking and by the veterinary school.

“Anyone can use (the bikes), even someone just visiting campus,” said Don Andrae, Auburn University director of parking services. “You just have to login on the website or app.”

Andrae said the bikes can be checked out and returned to any one of the campus hubs. People will be charged $5 for each hour after the first two. 

“We also aren’t allowing people to use the bikes for more than seven hours a day,” Andrae said. “But, if you see a bike abandoned somewhere that wasn’t returned to a hub and you check it in, you get a credit of $2.” 

Each bike will be equipped with a bell, basket, automatic kickstand and  GPS.

“The GPS is so that you can pull up on your app where the nearest hub to you is and how many bikes are available there,” Andrae said. “It also helps me, because I can track all the bikes.”

Director of Bike Share Division Kathryn Sargeant said the bike share was designed so students would have more transportation options available.

“War Eagle Bike Share aims to increase the number of short trips made by bicycle,” Sargeant said. “It offers an affordable, healthy and eco-friendly way for students, faculty and visitors to get around campus.”

Andrae said there will be a number of unique features on the app besides just reserving, renting and returning the bikes.

“If something is wrong on your bike, there is a screen on the back that gives you options for what you want to fix,” Andrae said. “It sends me a message, and then Gotcha Bikes goes and fixes it for you.”

Auburn University was recently awarded a silver rating for “bike friendliness” by the League of American Bicyclists. Auburn University is the first university in Alabama to be named a Bicycle Friendly University.

“The silver rating shows that Auburn is taking strides to make the campus infrastructure more bicycle friendly,” Sargeant said. “Bike lanes, maintenance tools, clinics and racks positioned in key locations make bicycling an easy option for transportation.” 

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