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Triton Bikes Program Offers Green Way to Get Around Campus

Christine Clark | January 7, 2008

UCSD staff member Rhett Miller proudly promotes the Triton Bikes Program.

They promote exercise, recycling, clean air and are free. Initiated in February 2004, the Triton Bikes program gives students, staff and faculty at UC San Diego the opportunity to get around campus in a fun, convenient and environmentally friendly way.

Staff, students and faculty can participate in the program by registering and signing a Triton Bikes agreement form. They then have access to a free bike, lock and helmet for up to 48 hours.

The project starts with the Performance Bike Shop in Kearny Mesa which inspects and repairs abandoned bikes obtained from the Campus Police. Rhett Miller, a senior artist for Auxiliary & Plant Services, said he helped found the program because it promotes recycling and exercise.  He redesigns the bikes with yellow tape, the Triton Bikes logo and a wire basket.

At the time the program was being developed, Gary Matthews was serving as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Auxiliary & Plant Services. His position provided resources needed to start the program. Miller said he approached Matthews, now Interim Vice Chancellor of Resource Management & Planning, because he wanted to spearhead the program. “There was no contract and only a few bikes, but I really wanted to get it going,” Miller said.

He added that the program would not have been implemented if Matthews did not lend his support. “Gary has sustainability in his blood and he truly believed in the program,” he said. “It has nothing to do with my actual job, but Gary gave me the go ahead to do the program.”

Click here to find out more information about the Triton Bikes program.

Revelle College Provost Daniel Wulbert has been a big supporter of the Triton Bikes Program since it was created. Although there are now Triton Bikes rental stations at Sixth College, RIMAC and the Gilman Parking Structure, Revelle College was the first to partner with Triton Bikes and establish a rental station.

“It is a shame that people on campus have to drive everywhere,” Wulbert said. “This campus is a little too big to easily get around on foot.”  Several students at Revelle College have of participated in the program, according to Wulbert, but he would like to see it expanded to all six colleges.

Wulbert rides his bike on campus and he encourages other faculty and staff to take advantage of the program because it promotes wellness. “There is a culture to riding bikes,” he said. “Some faculty and staff might not feel comfortable riding a bike in their suit, but the more people do it, the more socially acceptable it will become.” (Photo / Victor W. Chen)
The Triton Bikes program promotes recycling and clean air.

Miller said he feels fortunate that Wulbert is a supporter. “Revelle College has been instrumental in promoting the program to students and making the bikes accessible,” he said.

Phillip Espinoza is a Revelle College student who has been renting a Triton Bike on almost a daily basis for more than a year. “The opportunity that you can get a bike for free on a daily basis is something you can’t pass up,” he said.  “It is the most convenient way to get around on campus and it is free. I timed myself and it only took me three minutes to get from Revelle to Warren College.”

Frieda Roybal operates the bike checkout station at Revelle College. “The students are always very thankful for the bikes,” she said. “It is a very popular program.”

A majority of the people who use the program are staff, Miller said. “A lot of the Facilities Design and Construction and Environmental Health & Safety staff use the bikes,” he said. “They love them.”

Howard Goldman works as a cash management accountant at UCSD and has been riding a Triton Bike regularly for the past six months. “I think it is convenient way to get around campus,” he said. He found out about the program from a co-worker about six months ago. “I ride my bike every day on campus,” he said. “I started using it after my bike was stolen so the timing was perfect.”

Miller said he is happy to promote the program and have it grow. “This personally means a lot to me,” he said. “I am proud that I can have a hand in promoting this program.”

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