The success of Bike Nation will bring a cleaner transportation method

In Opinion

Bike Nation USA recently installed its stations on Cal State Fullerton’s campus, the station additions will simplify transportation for students and faculty alike.

Multiple bike stations have also been placed around downtown Fullerton.

A contract between the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Bike Nation was signed in 2012.

A total of 165 bicycles located at 15 different stations throughout the city were installed in January 2014.

The installation of the bike stations around the city comes at a time when bicycles are gaining recognition as a dependable method of transportation around urban areas, while simultaneously decreasing car usage.

The bike-sharing program located in Fullerton is currently a two-year pilot program.

The Federal Transit Administration supported the efforts to cut down air pollution by giving the program a $768,000 federal grant.

In the past, Bike Nation has faced some obstacles in more populated cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, where there have been bicycle shortages at stations.

It also failed to deliver the promised number of stations in the city of Anaheim, installing only three stations, instead of the original 10 that had been promised.

During this two-year pilot term, Wes Parsel, a marketing coordinator of the Orange County Transportation Authority, said officials will be monitoring the real-time data showing how often the bicycles are being used and what kind of customers are using them.

This will allow them to gauge the success rate of Bike Nation’s program in the city of Fullerton.

The program’s low-cost membership fees, as well as discount day passes, are meant to attract students and faculty members in hopes that the Fullerton program will be successful enough to continue after its two-year pilot term ends.

Another reason why OCTA approved the contract with Bike Nation, despite the former mayor Bruce Whitaker’s inclination to not spend money, was the Fullerton train station.

The train station brings in a number of people each morning and the distance between the train station and the passengers’ destination constantly presents a problem, as most places require a bit of a walk and most passengers do not  have cars waiting for them once they leave the train station.

The bike-sharing program targeted these specific people by installing stations at the Fullerton train station that would allow commuters to rent bicycles to reach their destinations faster.

Bike Nation has been most successful on the Cal State Fullerton campus, according to Parsel.

He credits this to the fact that many students find it very convenient to simply rent a bicycle on campus and dock it at another station downtown.

Not only is the bike-sharing program convenient, it also promotes health and environmental awareness.

By using  Bike Nation bicycles, students are guaranteed to find parking, thus eliminating stress when they arrive at the next station to dock their rented bicycle.

Bike Nation officials ensure there will be enough bikes for rental as well as space for bicycles to be returned at any docking station with the real-time data they receive from the stations.

In addition to avoiding the stress of having to search for parking in an area so dependent on cars, using the rental bicycles will also allow students to skip the stress of sitting in traffic behind a long line of cars.

The program also promotes environmental awareness by attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting down on the number of cars driven every day by people only looking to travel short distances.

Should the two-year pilot program be a success, Cal State Fullerton faculty and students can look forward to having a dependable and beneficial method of transportation in the future.

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