Columnist: Link Bike Share fails to pop UD ‘bubble’

By: Kwynn Townsend-Riley – Columnist

You know it is summertime at the University of Dayton when you hear the consistent racket of construction workers, see families on tours and don’t see clutter on KU plaza. This summer, however, it is easy to see something new on campus. When I was walking to the library, I noticed a full, sparkly, metal rack of lime green bikes. The bikes are a part of the DYTLink Bike Share program between UD and the City of Dayton. It seems this is an extension of UD’s push toward sustainability. Additionally, it is another way for students to get to downtown Dayton.

For $30 a month, the Link bikes can be used. But, why would anyone pay for bikes when there are free bikes to use at the RecPlex? I am honestly confused about the purpose of these bikes. The only thing that I see is another way for me to spend my money. If the goal is to get students to use bikes more instead of cars, it would seem there are already several free options to accomplish this. The last freshman class received over 100 free bikes and the RecBikes program offers another free way for students to get around the city. Everything that this new program is supposed to accomplish, the bikes at the Rec already do.

I have a few suggestions. Instead of giving us bikes, how about the university just let students know what exactly goes on in the city? How about we have a shuttle that circulates during the week as well as Saturdays? And can we please go to Kroger? Whatever happened to a shuttle taking students to the Oregon District? Can a newsletter circulate to the students about upcoming activities in the city? If the University of Dayton wants to pop this bubble we are in, we are going to need something sharper than a bicycle wheel.

This city has to be more than Brown Street. Let the students know! Fortunately, as a Chicagoan, I figured out how to use the public transportation system and discovered a way to get to the Greene, Riverscape, Oregon District and even the Art Institute. In addition to using the public transportation, I used the RecBikes all the time from UD. Yes, the Link bikes sure are pretty, but that is not enough incentive for me to pay to use them.

Now, if these bikes followed a yellow brick road to get my degree quicker, then yes I would pay for it. But right now, it seems a little redundant.

We do not need any more bikes. We need bookstores that take back all books regardless of edition. We need more dining halls to be open during the summer. We need a homecoming. We need to invite more local vendors to sell their items at the University of Dayton bookstore. We need to be the University of Dayton, not the University without Dayton. Dayton is a part of this school. We need to let them in. Bikes are not going to fix that.

 For more information on the Dayton Link Bike Share program, click here