In 2004, Jesse Fagan and Nick D’Innocenzo, students at Colorado State University, began work on a community bike project after hearing of other successful programs in Boulder, Philadelphia and Europe. The result, RamWheels, provides free bikes for travel around the university campus and surrounding area to Colorado State students, faculty and even community members.
Providing bikes for faculty, students and staff will alleviate parking problems and traffic congestion around the Colorado State campus and help reduce carbon monoxide emission within Fort Collins.
Fagan and D’Innocenzo believe that parking issues on and around campus, along with the efforts by the city of Fort Collins to accommodate the cycling population, make Colorado State a natural location for this bike program. RamWheels wants to educate the community of the health benefits for choosing cycling as a means of inner city travel and short distance commuting, as well as to alleviate the personal stress finding a parking spot might cause.
"RamWheels, simply, fulfills a need. I think there’s a need on such a large campus with so many amenities for a free and public service of transportation. It is beneficial more in terms of satisfaction of those who visit school, to give them more comfortable and better experiences," said Fagan, a senior double major in English and math and director of RamWheels.
University Parking Services issued more than 65,000 parking passes to Colorado State students, employees and visitors in the 2005-06 school year. Of these, about 8,000 vehicles are on campus each day, even though most live within a three-mile radius of the main campus.
"If a person wants to run an errand that is a couple blocks away, they can use the free bike instead of getting in their car and driving there," said junior math major Nick D’Innocenzo, treasurer of RamWheels. "Another part of it is to provide visitors to Colorado State with a way to easily get around campus."
People can rent RamWheels bikes at the information desk in the Lory Student Center with their university I.D or valid driver’s license. The bikes are located on the south side of the center. For more information, visit the RamWheels Web site at www.ramwheels.colostate.edu.