By Jamie-Lee Bracken
Students and staff will soon be able to jump on a bike and cycle round town thanks to a new project ‘Bikes at Massey’.
The idea was coined by Massey University’s Sherry Shi, a current masters student who arrived to Wellington in February and found the city a friendly place for cycling.
She says back in China she would often share bikes with her friends and noticed that no bike sharing scheme existed in the capital yet.
When she noticed that Campus Co-Lab – a group on campus that works to enhance the student experience – was asking students for submit ideas, she put forward the idea of Massey adopting a shared bike scheme.
“[It will] make the students and staff have an easier commute into town and back, saving time and money on transport.
“It will also encourage more cycling which is good for sustainability and health,” she says.
Facilitators at Campus Co-Lab then put Shi in touch with Massey Recreation Manager David Driscole, who helped develop the concept in partnership and consultation with the community at Massey University.
Driscole says he is thrilled to be on board with the project.
“The original goal of this Campus Co-Lab project was to offer students the opportunity to move about the city on bikes, saving time and money on other forms of transport,” says Driscole.
He says he can’t wait for students to be able to take part in the initiative.
“From there, it’s onto the bike, and off into the wilderness for meetings, collecting course/ work materials and printing, or just feeling the wind in their hair (under the helmet of course).”
The project now has approved funding and a free trial for students and staff will take place from September 2017 to the end of the year.
As part of the trial, two bikes, one standard and one electric, complete with helmets, racks and panniers to carry, things will be available. Students and staff of Massey will be able to book these bikes from the university gym.
Shi said her ultimate goal is to have bikes at Massey for both students and staff to use and hopes it could help inspire similar projects nationally.
“In this way, similar dockless bike sharing schemes might happen in Wellington and New Zealand as a more sustainable and wonderful transport option,” says Shi.