Bike Share Problems Persist in Second Year


The bike share has just wrapped up its operation, but problems persist.

The bike share system was put away for the winter season on Nov. 6. As another season passes with the bike share system, it is getting harder to not notice the state of decay that the bike share system is in. Something has to change for the bikes.

Student Body President Mason Wenzel did not sugarcoat the issue in a forum with media on Wednesday, saying, “I completely understand the state of deterioration of the bike share.” Wenzel also stated several issues persist, with maintenance being a huge factor.

The state of the bikes is near unacceptable when you consider we pay $50,000 for an annual subscription. This subscription seeks to provide students with a green and healthy transportation option. Instead, students are left to gamble on if the bike share will even work.

We are locked into a yearlong commitment with Great Rides, so there are very few options we have. The state of the bike share system requires action though. As a student body, the best thing we can do is highlight the issues. Share your opinions with Student Government. Make your voices heard.

This is to not say the idea of the bike share isn’t a brilliant idea. The bike share system is a great transportation option — when it is functioning.

As a student who lives downtown, the bike share, during certain parts of the year, is my main source of transportation. The state of decay and persistent problems like over docking make the bike share system unusable at certain times.

Rachel Marsh, a senior majoring in architecture told me about her reliance on the bike share. As an architecture student, most of her classes are downtown. When she and a friend did have a class on NDSU’s main campus though, she found the bikes unpredictable.

“I used them a couple of times to bike from Renaissance to main campus for physics,” Marsh said. “However, they were unreliable. Sometimes we could get two bikes to work for us to get to campus, but then wouldn’t be able to get any out of the bike station from the Union to bike downtown after class. Once the seat kept sinking on me while I was riding, and I thought that was dangerous because my seat would just drop out from under me.”

We want our subscription to be enough; we want the service we are paying for. Students want the bike share system to be in working order. For the students that rely on it, getting to class on time is counting on it.

Wenzel warned against the alternative of investing our own money into the bike share system.

“If it goes under … it is money we lost.” Wenzel stated that we should never invest our own money into docking stations.

At the moment, it sounds like the best option we have is to raise hell on the issue. Students see the decay every day. Perhaps the third year will be better because students are learning to not rely on the bike share system.

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