What is the Alma College Get Out Bike Program?
First-year students starting Fall 2014 will be given the option to sign a pledge that he/she will not bring a car to campus during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. The pledge also includes a commitment to volunteer for two of three Adopt-the-Trail clean-up days coordinated with the Get Out Experience. Students who sign this pledge will be given a bicycle to keep for as long as they wish, at the discounted rate of $100 (retail price: $379.99) and the purchase of a helmet and lock, or proof of ownership of a helmet and lock.
Why is Alma College doing this?
There are many drivers, so to speak, behind the Get Out Bike Program. One is health and wellness. In the fast world in which we live, we often overlook ways of being healthy. One such way is through simply moving more. Alma College is situated in a small community which allows students the ability to pedal to stores, restaurants, and other locations on campus and in the surrounding community. Also, Alma College is situated on a 41-mile paved trail. Another major driving factor is relationships. Sometimes cars can hinder the connections first year students make with their new community. By choosing not to bring a car to campus students have more opportunities to participate in college programming and leisure life outside of classes.
What does the pledge say?
You can read the full text of the pledge here, but students will be asked to sign a hard copy.
How will the terms of the pledge be enforced?
Any student who applies for a parking permit will have his/her name checked against the names of students who signed the pledge. If his/her name is on the list, the application will be denied and he/she will be reminded of the terms of the pledge.
What if a student repeatedly ignores the pledge?
We are initially giving students the benefit of the doubt and entrusting them to be honest. Any violation of the pledge agreement is a direct infraction of the Alma College Code of Conduct and may therefore be subject to disciplinary action under that Code.
What model bicycles are being offered?
What is included with the bike?
- Individual training
- One year routine maintenance from Terry’s Cycle in Downtown Alma
How will a student be able to identify his/her bike from dozens or hundreds of others?
A special decal with a unique identifying number will be affixed to each bicycle. The list will be furnished to Alma College Security in case of theft.
Whose responsibility will it be to maintain the bikes?
With the purchase of the bike, each student will be given one year of free maintenance at Terry’s Cycle in Downtown Alma. However, ultimately, maintenance becomes the student’s responsibility as soon as ownership of the bike transfers to him/her. Basic tools will be made available at the Stone Recreation Center.
Where will the bikes be stored during winter months?
Alma College will provide a space on campus for the bikes to be stored during winter months. Students in the bike program will be contacted in regard to where storage will be located.
What will become of a bike after the end of the school year, or if a student no longer wants it?
The bike belongs to the student; therefore, it is up to him/her whether it is sold, given away, etc.
What is the deadline for new students to sign and return the pledge?
The deadline is July 25, 2014. Due to the limited number of bikes available, this is a strict deadline.
When will students who sign the pledge physically receive their bikes?
Fall athletes and others who move in early will receive their bikes within a week of their move-in date. The majority of incoming first-year students will receive their bikes during their first week on campus.
Legal and Other Considerations
Will current students have an opportunity to take the Get Out Bike Program pledge and receive a bike or a comparable incentive? If not, why not?
No. This is a pilot program designed for incoming students. However, current students have the opportunity to check out bikes from the Stone Recreation Center.
What about transfer students?
Will there be bikes available for incoming first-year students at winter semester?
The pledge covers two full school years and will only be offered to first-year students starting in the fall.
What if a student is willing to sign the pledge, but is either physically unable to ride a bike at all or finds the standard Get Out Bike Program bike to be too big/small? Are there implications for ADA compliance?
If a student is physically unable to ride a bike, then he/she will already be using the most practical means of transportation available to him/her. The Get Out Bike Program Pledge is meant to help convert drivers who could bike but choose not to, to bikers who could drive but choose not to. Since the program is entirely optional, there are no ADA implications.
What if a number of students who weren’t planning on bringing cars anyway receive bikes but then turn around and sell them (either to people off campus or upperclassmen)?
That’s their right, since ownership transfers upon receipt. It would, however, be in contrast to the program’s spirit and intent.
What if a student signs the pledge and receives a bike but ends up needing a car for a legitimate reason starting mid-semester (e.g. caring for a family member)?
Extenuating circumstances such as these will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Students in such situations should contact the assistant director of campus recreation.
Do you expect the increase in bike traffic to cause more bike or pedestrian-related accidents? What if a student or community member is injured by a student riding a Get Out Bike Program bike?
It is reasonable to expect some bike-related incidents on campus; however, we believe the benefits far outweigh the relatively minor risks. The student alone is responsible for the safe operation of his/her bicycle; liability rests with the rider. We strongly encourage riders to wear helmets and obey all traffic laws.
What kind of release form do Get Out Bike Program participants have to sign?
Students who agree to receive a bike must agree to hold Alma College harmless for any injury, theft, property damage, etc. incurred by virtue of being given a Get Out Bike Program bike. Since ownership is transferred in full at the time of receipt, responsibility for safe operation is the student’s responsibility. The release is very basic and exists merely to indemnify and protect Alma College.
My question isn’t listed here. Where can I turn?
Other inquiries can be directed to Garrett Thelen, assistant director of campus recreation, at (989) 463-7954 or firstname.lastname@example.org.