UMKC wins bike friendly campus award

Free bike loans a popular program

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The University of Missouri Kansas City was just awarded an honorable mention for being a bike friendly campus by the League of American Bicyclists, the only university in a four state Midwest region to have that honor.

Their Clean Commute program aims to reduce the number of cars on campus through carpooling and bus riding, but mostly by encouraging bike riding.

They're provided more bike racks, some even with pumps attached.

But best of all, they have 54 bikes to loan out to students, faculty and staff each semester, complete with locks and helmets.

And the Swinney Rec Center has bikes to loan out on a daily basis.

"It was a good way for Swinney to continue to promote recreation not only on campus but off campus,"  said John Aust, manager of the program at the Swinney Rec Center.

It is recreation and a means of transportation with many benefits.

"Well, it makes me really happy, first of all just to exercise and get that in. I actually found that I get a lot of places faster on my bicycle," Andrea Young of Clean Commute said.

They're aiming for higher than honorable mention next year by adding 10 more bikes to the program and putting in electric charging stations, indoor bike parking and solar showers in the newly remodeled multi-modal parking garage in 2012.

A campus survey showed that there were about 115 bikes on campus when the program started in 2009. Now they estimate there are nearly 500.

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