The first phase of the newest bike sharing system called BikeLNK is now underway for Lincoln and our upcoming warm weather. This is the first time Lincoln has seen a bike sharing system. After much consideration, the Heartland Bike Share company located in Omaha, decided to move to implement the project in Lincoln.
“The city of Lincoln has been looking to get a bike sharing system since 2014,” comments Executive Director of Heartland Bikeshare, Benjamin Turner. “There's been a program in Omaha since 2011 and after that was ready, we decided to move here to Lincoln.”
Once BikeLNK is up and running, there’ll be 100 bikes available in 19 different locations scattered throughout downtown Lincoln, as well as UNL's City, East and Innovation Campuses. “I think that the new bikes downtown are a great idea,” comments sophomore dental hygiene major Brittany Fast. “Finding a good parking spot takes a long time especially on the weekends, and the price of riding all day is cheaper than parking in the garages.” Riders can pick up a bike at any of the 19 locations and they’re able to be drop it off at any station when finished.
Payments on the bike rentals are user-friendly too. The first half hour of riding is free, then every half hour after that is $3. Riders can use debit or credit cards, as well as an app that was created by The Downtown Lincoln Association. After the payment has been made, a card will allow the rider to walk up to the station, select a bike and start riding. “I look forward to seeing what [BikeLNK] is doing differently.” comments director of guest services Marcia Nordmeyer, who also had a role in bringing a bike share system here on campus. “It might give me some ideas on how to run our program more efficiently.”
Overall, there’s lots of excitement going around from students and faculty alike. BikeLNK will have its official opening on April 6, and riders can begin using the system that day.
“Since coming to Lincoln, I noticed that this is a healthy city because I always see lots of people walking or running,” comments junior nursing major Beto Jimenez. “This new biking system is another step in the right direction and hopefully more people will start riding when the program starts.”
Caroline Guchu is a junior studying communications.