In January 2015, Trinity will install 11 B-cycles on the south side of Verna McLean residence hall on lower campus. After a year of negotiation, the Student Government Association lowered the price from $65,000 to $20,000.
â€œItâ€™s a product of a lot of hard work by a lot of good people,â€ said Evan Lewis, president of SGA. â€œItâ€™s a good way not just for Trinity students to connect with the city of San Antonio by biking into San Antonio, but it makes us part of this citywide network.â€
Many students are excited about the B-cycles.
â€œI think it signifies Trinity moving in a greener direction,â€ said Hayley Sayrs, social media chair and events coordinator of Students Organized for Sustainability. â€œI like the aspect of fitness and students being able to have a bike here and not necessarily worry about shipping it.â€
Chris Williams, a bike rider on campus, agreed.
â€œIt will be beneficial to students because they donâ€™t have to outright purchase a bike or worry about locking it up,â€ Williams said.
Williams has found that bike-riding gives him a change in perspective.
â€œBeing a bike rider, compared to driving a car, you tend to see things moreâ€”see more of the city. Things start to slow down and you start to notice things that werenâ€™t there before as opposed to driving in a car. I think you just start to appreciate the city more if you ride a bike and see San Antonio for what it is,â€ Williams said.
To spread the word and fuel excitement among students, SGA plans to buy passes in bulk to hand out at their events.
â€œWeâ€™ll give [the passes] out at different events that SGA will host, either through a lottery or a first-come first-served basis,â€ Lewis said. â€œThen we hope to tie a certain number of weekly or day passes to those.â€
Jamie Thompson, director of campus and community involvement, sees B-cycle as a part of a larger movement towards student involvement off campus.
â€œWeâ€™re so close to some really special places in San Antonio. Thereâ€™s really good food or museums or things like that, that on foot might seem a little tedious, but on bike all of a sudden become really accessible,â€ Thompson said. â€œI think it aligns with what the university is doing and suggesting and hoping for students to be involved and engaged with the city. I think it also aligns with San Antonioâ€™s vision through the SA2020 project.â€ Thompson said.
According to James Vaughn, urban studies lecturer, B-cycle reflects and fuels a change in attitude towards transportation itself.
â€œThe automobile is proving to be kind of a problem,â€ Vaughn said. â€œWhen you have everybody using it and then you build your cities and your neighborhoods to where the only way to get around is by automobile, youâ€™ve really got a problem. So weâ€™re kind of rethinking that now.â€
As Vaughn sees it, the bicycle is a potential answer to that problem.
â€œMore and more people want bicycle trails and the ability to ride a bike to work,â€ Vaughn said. â€œI think the good thing about [B-cycle] is that it gets the idea of riding a bicycle for something other than just pleasure in peopleâ€™s minds. So when they graduate or look for jobs they may think about living close to where they work because they enjoyed the bicycling alternative.â€
With over 50 stations in downtown San Antonio, and across town, B-cycle is one of the United Statesâ€™ first large-scale municipal bike sharing systems. Users have a variety of options when checking out a bike, from a 24-hour option to the regular 30 minute intervals; when done with the bike, users can return it to any B-cycle station around town.