Graphic by Ashley LaFayette.
Since early April, students have enjoyed access to bike rental service Gotcha on campus. The program is a hit among resident and commuter students alike, and many students are taking advantage of the nice weather by going for a ride.
“They’re best when you go with a lot of people,” said freshman finance major Jennifer Durocher. “It’s a great way to get out and enjoy the campus.”
Anyone who is familiar with the popular Divvy bike service will feel right at home when using the Gotcha bikes. The bikes feature a front basket where books and other supplies can be stored, and a bell to warn anyone in front of the rider to step aside.
Users begin by finding one of the multiple bike racks around campus and reserving a bike by way of the Gotcha app, or a user interface on the bicycle itself, where four-digit code is then given to the user to lock up the bike. When finished, the user can return the bike to any one of the racks.
For the first 90 minutes, the bikes are free to ride. After that time, the student is initially charged $6 with an additional $5 for every additional hour. There is no membership fee associated with the bikes.
Students have found the bikes to be a useful tool when commuting from building to building. Along with riding to class, students can take the bikes down the trails that go around the campus through the woods.
“They cut time off getting to class and they’re a great way to exercise,” said freshman computer science major Xavier Gonzalez. “Just be careful taking them on the trails.”
Bike riders are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks and must share the roads with cars. The Gotcha website also states that riders must wear a helmet, use hand signals when turning and yield to any pedestrians that are crossing.
The bikes are available for rental 24/7, and will still be available for anyone on-campus over the summer, including those living in the dorms or just taking classes. Whatever the purpose for using them, the bikes are sure to provide a more exciting way to get around campus during the warm weather months.