28 Aug New bike share program launches in Grand Forks, UND
It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
A new citywide bike share program launched over Move-In weekend.
Students, faculty and staff – as well as members of the Greater Grand Forks community – can pick up a bike-share bicycle at a docking station on campus or in town, unlock it with an app, and enjoy the ride.
The program is powered by Altru Health System, with sponsorship by UND Student Government and UND Facilities, Hugo’s, the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Development Association and the city of Grand Forks.
Members of the UND community can hop on board at half price – $30 per year – thanks to UND’s sponsorship.
Ability for mobility
“This will let students have mobility,” said Kaleb Dschaak, former student body vice president, who has been working to bring a bike share program to Grand Forks for several years. “Even if you can’t bring a bike to campus and don’t have a car, you can have accessibility to the rest of Grand Forks. You can buy groceries, go to concerts and events downtown, go to games at the Alerus, and more.”
The Grand Forks Greenway has some of the best trails around, added Dschaak.
“I think we’ll see a lot of bike shares on the Greenway,” he said. “People can bike with friends. It opens up a fun, healthy activity.”
Pete Haga, community and government relations officer with the city of Grand Forks, agreed. “With construction downtown and on campus, the bike share project has good timing,” Haga said. “We hope the bike share program will build stronger connections between downtown and campus, and that we’ll see more biking activity along retail corridors and the Greenway.”
The idea for a bike share program was spearheaded by Simon Murphy, a high school student selected for this year’s Main Street GF Challenge.
With 75 bikes and 17 bike stations, cyclists will be able to pick up a bike at one location and return it to any bike-share station in town. Six stations are located on campus: at Wilkerson, the Wellness Center, the School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Hyslop, Odegard Hall, and the Quad.
“This program will provide UND students and staff the opportunity to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives, create an easy way to get around campus and the city, and to cycle on our beautiful Greenway system,” said Nicole D. Benson, community relations specialist with Altru Health System.
Users can download an app at https://ridepace.com/ , click the location, and find the nearest bike station. Once they’ve unlocked the bike with the app, they’re ready to ride.
As mentioned, those with a UND email address get half-price membership, at just $30 a year. Without a membership, rides will cost $1 for 15 minutes.
Riders can even get a $5 ride credit for downloading the app and entering RIDEGF in the promo code section.
Bikes will be maintained by Zagster, a company that specializes in bike share programs and runs more than 20 in the Midwest.
“I walk across campus and seldom drive,” said Michael Nord, manager of sustainability and energy services at UND Facilities Management. “This will be a huge benefit to students, faculty and staff when it comes to parking, as well as health and wellness. It will be a good way for students to get to football and hockey games.
“And from the community standpoint, it’s one more thing to do in Grand Forks. I think parents will be happy to see a bike share program in Grand Forks.”