Mac Bike expands Bike Share

By Charlie White

Since last spring, MacBike has been offering Bike Share, a program giving Macalester students access to free bikes. But on Friday, Nov. 11, the program will undergo a long-awaited transformation; it will now be run straight from the Information Desk in the campus center. This means that all members of the Macalester community, including students, faculty, and staff, now have the ability to simply walk up to the Info Desk, present their Macalester ID and fill out a few forms, and then walk off with a bike, helmet, lock, and map of Twin Cities’ bike routes to keep for up to a week.

Before this new development in Bike Share, MacBike had been checking out bikes only between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays out on Bateman Plaza. With Bike Share being run from the Info Desk, anybody can check out a bike at anytime. There will initially be eight bikes available for check out, but MacBike plans on providing more after evaluating the demand for them.

Claire Stoscheck ’07, is one of the founding members of MacBike whose work has made the new and improved Bike Share program possible.

“Running Bike Share out of the Info Desk makes Bike Share a much more accessible and convenient program,” said Stoscheck. “It will serve to make biking an easier choice of alternative transportation for the Macalester community.”

Stoscheck also stressed the economic and environmental value of the new program, and hopes that the idea of Bike Share will spread to other campuses.

“With rising fuel costs and talk of parking lots, this is a very important time for this program to come about,” Stoscheck said. “A Bike Share program is very innovative, and MacBike hopes that the Macalester Bike Share model can inspire other schools to create their own Bike Share programs.”

Later in the semester, MacBike will be hiring a Bike Share coordinator for a work-study position. Funding for this new position comes from the Macalester Environmental Studies Department. Rather than just sitting behind the Info Desk and checking out bikes, this position involves maintaining bikes, keeping track of bikes, and generally making sure that Bike Share runs smoothly. Everyone with a passion for bikes and alternative transportation is encouraged to apply.

MacBike will be meeting on the Bateman Plaza at 11:50 am on Nov. 11 with a bike parade to celebrate the new program and all are welcome to join.