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CobBike system could use some fine tuning

bike web
A Concordia student uses a gorgeous day as an excuse for a joyride. Photo by Maddie Malat.

The new bike share program, which Concordia started just this year, has seen a great deal of interest. However, some problems have risen with the checkout system.

Erica Bjelland, SGA sustainability representative, is really excited about the success of this new program. She thinks the bike share program is going very well.

Bjelland said, “The bikes are getting used a lot.”

In the first eight days the bikes were offered, students made 154 checkouts. In less than a month, 400 bikes were checked out.

Leah Anderson, Circulation Interlibrary Loan manager, said students can check them out, make local errands and come back without worrying about finding a parking spot for their car.

“The CobBike program has been a great success. Students have had the opportunity to explore the area via bike and have had fun,” Anderson said.

However, Anderson claims there have been minor problems with flat tires and squeaky breaks, but Concordia hired a student to maintain the bikes. Downed bikes usually reappear within a day, ready for riding.

“With anything there are little tweaks that need to happen,” Anderson said.

There have been some minor instances where some students have not returned their key on time. Anderson said some people want to check the bikes out all day, which causes problems, as many students create great demand for the twelve-bike supply.

Sage Larson, a sophomore, tried to use the bikes once but couldn’t because all of the bikes were either being used, or the key had not been returned. She thinks there should be a bigger consequence for not returning the key, encouraging timely returns.

Anderson said Concordia will revise the CobBike system when they put them away for the winter.

“We’ve tossed around the idea of a waiting list similar to the study rooms or limiting the number of renewals a patron can have in one day,” Anderson said.

Larson hopes that in the future more bikes will be added to the program so more students have the opportunity to use them at the same time.

“Students have been very respectful of each other and have in general returned their bikes on time,” Anderson said. “[On the day of Symposium,] the bikes were in very high demand and quite a few had to be turned away.”

Bjelland said the Students use the new “CobBikes” for many different reasons. Larson decided to try out one of the bikes because she and a friend wanted to try a different type of workout. She also sees it as another way of transportation for students who either don’t have a car on campus or want to try something new.

“It offers something to do on the weekends,” Larson said, now a supporter of the program and a regular user.

According to Anderson, the addition of more bikes to the program is probable.

Larson plans to use the bikes again. “I’d like to use them before the snow flies,” she said.

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