BamaBikes opens up 150 new bikes for rent

BamaBikes+opens+up+150+new+bikes+for+rent

CW / Abbie Collins

Mike Finnegan

The BamaBikes program made 150 new single-speed commuter bicycles available for rent. This new fleet of bicycles expands the BamaBikes current stock by 150 percent, as the number of bicycles grew from 100 to 250. 

It costs a student $15 per month to rent a single-speed commuter bicycle through BamaBikes, which includes a complementary helmet and lock with mandatory monthly maintenance. However, the older beach cruiser bicycles are still available for rent at $10 a month with the same benefits.

“Our aim is to get alternative transportation at an affordable cost for students who don’t have a car,” said Stephen Middleton, manager of Outdoor Recreation, to UA News.

The new bicycles were first wheeled out for the second annual Quad in Motion Day, held on Sept. 21.

BamaBikes program is run by the division of student affairs, which states on their website that the program seeks to “provide a low-cost bicycle rental system for The University of Alabama… to help students move around campus in a quick, safe, and sustainable fashion.”

Students can find the rental bike office located at the Outdoor Recreation office on the second floor of the Student Recreation Center.

In addition to bicycle rentals, the Outdoor Recreation program also has an in-house bike shop, in which three students employ their bike mechanics skills to serve the university’s cycling community.

“They will definitely all get used, so I’m excited for it,” said bike mechanic Matt Shultz, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering.

Shultz said there was a huge demand for the rental bikes, and a wait-list of around 30 people began to develop at the start of this fall semester. The 150 new bikes will hopefully meet demand, but the Outdoor Recreation office has already received numerous emails from students expressing interest in the new bikes.

“Renting is the good option economically,” Schultz said. He said the up-front cost of buying a quality bicycle can be around $300 to $400, which is too high for many students. Additionally, bicycles need continuous maintenance that would incur another cost for the rider.