New bike-share program helps SUNY ESF go greener

Starting this fall, SUNY ESF students will have a different way to get around campus and into downtown.

A new bike share program, the brain child of current seniors Drew Gamils and Frannie Monasterio, will afford students the opportunity to "sign out" a bike for the day.

They knew something had to be done, after researching alternative forms of transportation for an honors class.

"My study itself wasnâ??t conclusive, but I did recognize the need for an alternative form of transportation on campus because campus parking is becoming increasingly limited, as I think you experienced on your way here," says Monasterio.

Gamils said it was time to do something. "Weâ??re both studies majors, so we do a lot of studying. We do a lot of hypothetical situations, creating plans and policies, and a lot of "what if" scenarios. I was kind of sick of the "what ifs" and I wanted to actually do something, and actually physically bring something here that could make a difference," he said.

It works like this - a student will come to the circulation desk at Moon Library, pay a $20 fee to cover the whole semester, attach a sticker to their student ID, and sign out a bike.

Itâ??s great news for students like Yasmeen Bankole, who came to Syracuse from Chicago.

"Iâ??m excited about this bike program because being an out of state student, itâ??s hard to bring a bike up here. And so having a bike on campus is great because, you know, I donâ??t have to lug it back and forth and I can just use it here. So Iâ??m really excited about it," said Bankole.

It looks like this program already has legs, or should I say wheels, as neighboring Syracuse University has already shown interest in creating its own bike share program.

Ultimately, Gamils and Monasterio hope this program not only goes green by reducing on-campus vehicular traffic for SUNY ESF and Syracuse University, but also brings students downtown, infusing cash into the local economy.

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