Incentives for Driving Less
- Another method of providing positive incentives for people to "drive
less". (Have Bike; Will Travel.)
------------ News Media Report ---------------------
Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/sep03/167374.asp
75 UWM students get bikes to ride
Transportation group in neighborhood peddles free bicycles
By TOM HELD
Last Updated: Sept. 4, 2003
It's an age-old tactic to lure impressionable college students into
certain activities: offering that first fix for free. In this
instance, the baiting and hooking took place Thursday in the most
public of spaces, the concourse of the University of Wisconsin-
Milwaukee Student Union.
Brazenly, advocates for alternative means of transportation sought to
entice students with bicycles, offering free use for a semester. For
just a $20 refundable deposit, the students could be caught in a
cycle of pedaling to work, to class, to the store.
At least that's the plan of the Eastside Transportation Management
Association, which plotted the distribution of 75 bicycles to UWM
students and faculty.
The group's Bicycle Task Force started the program last fall,
distributing 25 bikes. The program expanded to 50 bikes in the spring
The task force's goal is to promote bike use, encourage students to
buy their own bikes and continue riding instead of driving, said Else
Ankel, chairwoman of the transportation management association.
In the bigger picture, Ankel and her neighbors around the university
see the bike distribution as a step toward alleviating the parking
and traffic congestion problems they see every day.
"I am sick and tired of the discussion always coming back to how can
we better accommodate cars," Ankel said. "We wanted to approach the
problem in a way that's sensible and non-confrontational."
The bikes distributed to the students were donated to the program,
some of them likely older than the students themselves. The Wisconsin
Partners for Clean Air passed along a $5,000 federal grant that
helped pay for repairs, which were done by Cory the Bike Fixer.
Nahum Burt, president of the UWM Cycling Club, coordinated the
distribution, and various bicycling advocates helped match students
to their bikes during the distribution Thursday afternoon.
Kathleen O'Regan picked out her transportation fix because it was
red "and looked very lonely."
A graduate student returning to UWM after six years in New York,
O'Regan said the bike would save her time. She lives roughly 20
blocks from campus, right in that too-close-to-drive and too-far-to-
Maurice Williams, an air management and transportation specialist
with the state Department of Natural Resources, said those are
exactly the types of trips that should be eliminated through the bike
program. Cars work least efficiently in the first 1 to 5 miles, so
even a few rides per week as an alternative will help air quality,
Lisa Bemus, a senior psychology major, expects her bike will also
improve her quality of life by helping her lose weight and avoid
expensive parking tickets. Bemus scored a bike for herself after
spotting the rows of wheels sitting in the union.
She and a few others who signed up for the free rides said they
couldn't squeeze their own bike purchase into their tight budgets.
Roberto Souto simply couldn't bring his bicycle with him from his
home in Germany. The exchange student will spend a semester at UWM
studying English and foreign language education.
Back home, Souto used a bicycle as his only means of transportation.
Understandably, he was thrilled to be back on two wheels in Milwaukee.
"Before, I would use the bus or just walk," he said. "Now, I have all
the mobility I wish for."
From the Sept. 5, 2003 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel