Student Union President Emma Drake stands with a student and one of UPEISU’s new bikes (Photo credits: UPEISU)
One of the UPEISUâ€™s newest programs is off to a strong start this year.
The SUâ€™s Bike Co-op, which was launched Sept. 5th, has seen nine students take one of eight bikes for a week. Students have to put down a $25 deposit.
Along with the bike, students also receive a helmet, a lock and a key. President Emma Drake said during her time as Vice President of Academic and External, students showed a great support of green initiatives.
â€œBased off this support, we knew this was a project that would be valued by students, and that they were excited for,â€ she said.
This program was part of Drakeâ€™s presidential platform, she spent the summer ensuring the program would be ready to launch this September.
Of the eight bicycles in the program, three came from community donations while the other five were purchased.
Keesha Ryan, Vice President of Finance, said most of the costs of the program came from buying the bikes.
â€œTo date, the total has cost about $1,300. The initiative was started through Emmaâ€™s president initiative fund of $1,000, which covered the costs of the bikes,â€ she said.
As most of the bikes are new Ryan does not anticipate the cost much to maintain this year.
â€œSix of the bikes are brand new, so they should be good for the year, but this will be monitored as upkeep will be done as needed,â€ she said.
Once winter comes, the bike co-op will close when the SU decides the weather is too unsafe for biking. The bikes will be put into storage and the program will reopen when the weather improves.
â€œThe weather on PEI, unfortunately, does not allow for much bicycling to be done during the winter months with the amount of snow and bad weather we get,â€ Ryan said.
She added that, having the program open during the snowy months is an option the SU is considering.
â€œI also think it would be interesting to look into getting bikes that are suitable for the winter,â€ Ryan said. â€œThey are not very popular, but it would be interesting to look into in case some students would want to use the service year-round.â€
With the exception of winter, the SU will have the program open all year long, Ryan said.
â€œWith the way summer classes are going, seeing as half of our students are on campus, the
executive and staff who work in the SU office will be running this service over summer months,â€ she said.
Drake says this service is great for students looking to get around campus or around Charlottetown.
â€œUPEI is geographically located in a great location as directly beside campus is access to the PEI Confederation Trails, which are excellent for riding bicycles either simply to go downtown or even to bike the whole of PEI and do some sight seeing,â€ she said.
Those looking to use the service must follow all provincial biking laws along with rules set by the SU. More information can be found by visiting the SU office or by going to http://upeisu.ca/constitution-bylaws-policy/ and clicking on policy number 38.