VCU’s RamBikes provides alternative mode of transportation for students

VCU Goes Green and VCU Libraries collaborated to create the RamBikes pilot program that allows students and faculty to rent bikes for 24-hour intervals. Photo by Amber-Lynn Taber.

Carliss Hardy

Contributing Writer


Eight new bicycles are now available for VCU students and faculty to rent, free of charge, at one of the university’s  libraries.

The new RamBikes are a bicycle pilot program that is a part of a joint initiative sponsored by VCU Goes Green and VCU Libraries. The purpose of the bicycles is to help provide an eco-friendly alternative mode of transportation for the university.

“VCU Sustainability sees bikes as an integral component of its Climate Action Plan – its goals and methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit and mitigate the university’s impact on the environment,” said Brantley Tyndall, alternative transportation coordinator at VCU’s Office of Sustainability.

Students and faculty may borrow one of the four bicycles located at specific bike racks at Cabell Library and MCV’s Tompkins-McCaw Library.

The bikes are available for 24 hours and can be renewed once for another 24 hours and must be returned at the same location they were borrowed. After a liability waiver is signed, bike renters will receive a key for the bikes’ U-lock and a helmet.

There are about 15,000 to 18,000 cyclists at VCU, according to a 2010 VCU state of cycling report and VCU Wellness Resource Center student survey.

With such a high number of cyclists at VCU, the RamBikes would give non-bicycle owners the opportunity to learn about the many benefits of biking.

“Bikes are a convenient option for students without other transportation on campus,” said Teresa Doherty, head of Circulation and Information Services at VCU Libraries. “We hope that students will be able to explore the city on these bikes and enjoy the many offerings this city has.”

The bicycle-loan program is still in its early stages, and VCU Libraries is finalizing the information about the program and is in the process of adding a key ring to hold the U-lock and an Allen wrench to adjust the height of the bike seat.

“We have a lot in the works for adding to and expanding the overall bike program at VCU; this is just the beginning,” Tyndall said.

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