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JagBikes at USA

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jagbikesThis fall, be prepared to see an influx of shiny, blue bicycles around campus.

The USA Geology Club and the Student Sustainability Council, both led by adviser Dr. Jim Connors, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, assembled 400 new “Jag Bikes” with the help of members from the the Honors Program Organization and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

It took a couple weeks of grueling days and hard labor, but the end result is a new way for students to commute around campus.

Dr. Connors told The Vanguard that the initiative is a “bold experiment in community-level sustainability.”

Primarily, USA students volunteered to help assemble the bikes. The bicycles, partially funded by private donations, are part of the University’s new sustainability initiative “JagSmart,” a program integrating the latest green principles in recycling, energy conservation, transportation, campus construction and campus life.

The JagSmart committee is headed by University of South Alabama President Gordon Moulton, and the Chair of the committee is Sociology Assistant Professor Dr. Doug Marshall. Dr. Connors also serves on the committee along with Director of Facilities Chris Willis, Associate Director of Housing James Bridgeforth, Vice-President of Student Affairs John Smith, Senator Riley Davis of the Student Government Association, and The Vanguard’s own Cassie Fambro.

The addition of these free-range access bicycles is meant to support environmental sustainability and student convenience.

Designated stations on campus will house the bicycles.

Locations will make Jagbikes work well with JagTrans, so students can bike and then ride.

A plan to make the University’s sidewalks compliant with Alabama’s laws for cyclists is underway as well.

The plan involves bike safety additions such as proper sidewalk identification for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The JagSmart committee encourages the university committee to be mindful of the increase in bicycle traffic and be cautious both as a cyclist and as a driver.

Safetry information is located on each bike via a sticker near the handlebars.

JagBikes are identified by barcodes unique to each bicycle, and all are outfitted with unique South Alabama decals.

Each bike cost $55 and were purchased from the bicycle manufactuer Huffy.

Bikes will be available in conjunction with the beinning of the Fall semester, but on August 25, an event called “Jag Bike Roll-Out” will introduce the bicycles for campus-wide student use.

The Jaguar Marching Band will particpiate and a ribbon-cutting ceremony by President Moulton will occur at the Moulton Tower.

Students will select a Jag Bike for the inaugural ride along Mitchell Center Drive, located on the west side of the Mitchell Center. Mitchell Center Drive will be blocked off at USA South Drive and Old Shell Road at that time.

The ride will end in the parking lot south of the Mitchell Center and free t-shirts will be given.

 

Written by Cassie Fambro | Editor-In-Chief

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