TRU is taking the beginning steps towards improving cycling conditions on campus for the community. Sustainability Office Research Assistant, Aaron Wiebe, urged students, staff, and faculty to keep an eye out for the survey come mid-July.
“The grand essence of the Bike Program is to provide what [TRU Sustainability Office] can to improve bike-friendliness on TRU campus,” Wiebe said.
The Sustainability Office has been improving bike friendliness thus far by providing safe places for individuals to store their bikes while on campus, by working to engage students, staff, and faculty through events such as Bike Week, and by encouraging individuals to try something new such as biking through TRU Sustainability’s Bike Share Fleet.
“TRU Sustainability even provides an incentive program in which they help employees purchase more expensive bikes such as e-bikes to make commuting to campus by bike much easier. Since the administration simplified the Bike Share Program, [TRU Sustainability Office] is now doing what they can to ensure those who are interested in purchasing bicycles end up with the right bike to fit their needs,” Wiebe said.
“What we are trying to do with the survey is identify the barriers [to biking] from as many people as we can. So, students, staff, faculty, pretty much anyone who must come to TRU whether they commute to campus full-time or part-time, our office wants to hear from them,” Wiebe said.
“We want to know, for people who do ride bikes, what are the great things about it? What has the Sustainability Office done well in terms of bike friendliness on campus? What should we keep doing, and what can we improve on?”
“For those who don’t ride bikes or choose not to ride a bike they already own to campus, why?” For international and exchange students, is it that buying a bicycle seems unrealistic when only in Kamloops for anywhere from a year to sometimes four? Is it that bikes are often out of reach for students in terms of price?” Wiebe says, “[TRU Sustainability Office] is brainstorming programs that can help those who do not have the means to purchase a bike themselves with ownership.”
“What can we do to help, and what else can we implement here on campus to get more people on a bicycle,” says Wiebe.
There are a lot of benefits to commuting by bike, Wiebe says. “The more people we can encourage to hop on their bikes the better. There is more and more housing popping up nearby campus or within reasonable walking distance, which is sure to make biking more accessible.”
“We’re just really wanting to encourage more people to leave their vehicles at home and opt to bike instead,” Wiebe says.
In the past, TRU Sustainability Office has offered prizes or incentives for surveys and considering the open-ended nature of this survey there likely will be some sort of incentive for participation, Wiebe says. Keep an eye out for the survey on TRU Sustainability Office’s webpage this month.