Thursday, August 24, 2017

Charlotte Wheels, the University’s bike-sharing program, celebrated its official offering to members of the campus community Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Jerry Mann, biking enthusiast and former director of the Popp Martin Student Union, returned to campus and cycled through a Charlotte Wheels banner to formally introduce the effort.

Chancellor Philip L. Dubois noted the bike-sharing program has many advantages. “It’s good for the environment, reduces our carbon footprint, and we hope it relieves traffic congestion on campus … It’s also good for you – for every 1.1 miles you bike, you burn 44 calories.”

Charlotte Wheels uses Gotcha Bikes, and there are 10 racks with 100 bikes available across campus. While the Aug. 23 “ribbon cutting” marked the official start of the program, Charlotte Wheels conducted a soft launch of the program during the summer.

Officials with the bike-sharing program noted UNC Charlotte’s soft launch was one of its most successful ever. In just three weeks during the summer introductory period, Charlotte Wheels users biked 1,345 miles and reduced carbon emissions on campus by 1,186 pounds.

Bikes can be reserved from the computer on the back of the bike or through the Social Bicycles app. Two pricing plans are available. A point-to-point plan allows for 60 minutes of ride time per day with no membership fee. The Lifestyle plan is a $30 yearly membership that provides two hours of ride time per day. Details and restrictions are on the web; prospective Charlotte Wheels participants are reminded that helmet use is strongly advised.