By: Olivia Rempel
A group of Dalhousie students has submitted a proposal to the Dalhousie Green Campus Challenge for a bike share program.
Dalhousie students Spencer Meens, Josh Wallace, Christopher Andrews and Matt Ashley have a sustainable project they think students could have fun with.
Meens explains the project as quite small scale, “You’d have a bike rack outside of the Henry Hicks Building with ten bikes and one down by the Sexton Campus with ten.” He says, “You would deposit a toonie or something and swipe your Dal Card and then you get a bike and you can take it out for as long as you want, you just have to return it; you can take it down to the Sexton Campus for a class down there, or take a ride up to Point Pleasant Park.”
“I walk downtown like twice a day, and I just don’t have time for the walk and a bike system would help tenfold,” says Wallace, one of the masterminds behind the project, “I feel like if it were to be integrated during a transit strike then the community and the Dal students would shine up to it a lot more.”
The Dalhousie Green Campus Challenge is a competition put on by the Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office. Students submit a proposal for a design feature for the university, supposing they had a $30,000 budget. Proposals are the first phase of the competition, which were due in February. The second part is a poster presentation, which is followed by an awards gala at the end of March, where students will find out who wins.
Wallace explains that, “At the gala, you do your presentation, it’s all hypothetical but sometimes these projects, if investors like it enough, sometimes they do actually get picked up.”
The Bixi bike-share programs that have been cropping up in Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal inspired the idea for a campus program.
Though if Dalhousie decides to run with the project and start up a bike-share program, it would not be the first university. Maclean’s Magazine cites the success of the bike-share programs at McGill University and the University of Ottawa, with other schools highlighted for their thriving bike culture.