North Texas

UNT Wants Students to Use Bike Rentals Instead of Their Own

When students return to the University of North Texas campus in late summer, the school plans to have 250 dockless rental bicycles there for them to use.

UNT has contracted with California-based Spin, a rental bike firm. The school is also pushing for students to use those rental bikes, instead of their own.

Senior Joseph Wardrup uses his bike to get around campus every day.

“It’s a must,” said Waldrup. “The benefit of using a bike around here, is you get around campus pretty fast."

He is not alone. During the school year there can be well over 1,000 bikes on campus. Finding a place to keep it can be difficult.

“Most days it's hard to find a place to park your bike because this is a good day,” he said, after locking up his bike at a stand. “This is a real good day where you have a spot to park your bike."

Soon, UNT will implement a bike share program, which will encourage students to rent bikes -- instead of riding their own. Part of the issue has to do with what happens after school ends, when hundreds of students leave UNT, but leave their bikes behind.

“The chain gets rusted or the tire goes flat, or something goes wrong with the gears they don't know where to get it fixed, they're just leaving it on campus,” said Trista Moxley of UNT Transportation Services. “And we're having to go pick them up."

Abandoned bikes are tagged, and if no one claims them, eventually sold. UNT is working with the city of Denton to make sure the 250 Spin bikes aren't left all over town, which became an issue with Denton’s previous bike share program, operated by Garland-based V-Bikes.

“We need to make sure they're not clogging up the city streetways and causing trouble for pedestrians,” said Moxley.

The end goal is to make UNT a more walkable, bikeable campus, without the headache of a bicycle graveyard.

“Actually, I think that's a pretty cool idea,” said Waldrup. “It just causes a lot of issues, so yeah, it would be pretty cool."

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