DENVER (CBS4) – While the City of Denver struggles with how to regulate electric scooter rentals, the University of Denver is experimenting with dockless bikes on it’s campus.
“It really activated the campus and created quite a buzz,” said James Rosner, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management & Planning at DU.
200 bright yellow Ofo bikes are buzzing around the campus. The pilot program is designed to give students, faculty, and staff a cheap and easy way to get across campus. For 50-cents, you get one hour of riding.
“Being a month in it’s more successful that we anticipated. We’ve seen more people use it and ride them that don’t ride bikes,” Rosner told CBS4. “It’s less than buying a bike for a year, and all the maintenance is covered by the company.”
DU requires that the dockless bikes be corralled in 20 designated spots around campus. Users who return the bikes to the designated bike boxes get point on the Ofo app. If a bike is parked outside the designated spots, the user is docked points.
“The approved locations are placed where you’re incentivized to dock it correctly,”Rosner explained. “We haven’t seen as many safety issues as we expected to see and there actually has been quite a bit of compliance with it.”
The idea is to keep the bikes at transportation hubs, but CBS4 found some left in a nearby neighborhood.
“They’re just here. Sometimes people park them in the middle of the driveway, so when I back up that’s annoying. But if they’re off to the side I don’t really mind that much.”
Morgan Phipps is a senior at DU. There were two bikes outside his home, although he said he hadn’t used either of them. He did say that he’d use the bikes on a couple of other occasions.
“Like last night when it was the thunderstorm, I didn’t ride my bike to work, so I just walked. So on the way back, it was perfect.”
DU says its had about 3,000 separate users take 30,000 rides in the first month of the program. The perfect solution to a growing transportation problem in the city.