At a time when universities' tuition keeps rising while they offer less value to students, at least there is one program they offer to help students keep some costs down --bicycle sharing. Ohio State University is the latest campus in the U.S. to launch a bike-share program, which will begin this summer or fall.

Bicycle sharing offers plenty of benefits to cities, companies and, in this case, a college campus: reduced carbon emissions, which more universities are now counting with increased frequency; fewer bike thefts, one bane of campus life; and more exercise to burn off those pesky dorm food carbohydrates. Plus, bicycling is a better way to get around campus instead of those janky shuttle buses.

To that end, Ohio State has chosen Zagster to run its bicycle-sharing program. The selection of Zagster over Motivate (and three other vendors) did not please everyone in Columbus, however. According to the Columbus Dispatch, some residents and leaders in the state’s capital were pushing for Ohio State to integrate with Motivate’s CoGo program in Columbus. But, at a time when everyone is watching budget line-items like a hawk and bike share programs still garner their share of skepticism, Zagster offered a cost-per-bike proposal that was less than that of Motivate. The disappointment should dissipate quickly as Columbus is already one of the more progressive “smart cities” in the Midwest; the chances are high that both programs will thrive and expand over time.

“It’s a real shot in the arm to have been selected by the Ohio State University, given the quality of the competitors,” said Tim Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. “It’s a huge opportunity to show how our simple and flexible model is a great fit for universities. And we’re really looking forward to adding a variety bikes in the mix to enable more people access to the freedom and joys of bike riding. From the start, it has been our mission to get more people on bikes, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with OSU.”

The system will start with 115 bicycles, spread across 15 stations -- some of which will be specially designed for students with special needs. Tandem, hand cycle, electric assist, heavy-duty and three-wheeled cargo bikes are among the two-wheelers that will be included in Ohio State’s bike-share program.

Zagster also operates bicycle-sharing programs at Yale University, Duke University, Princeton University, Santa Clara University and California State University, East Bay.

Image credit: Zagster

Published earlier today on Triple Pundit.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.