CoGo bikes have ridden onto campus, offering a more sustainable transportation option for students and Bexley residents alike.
“It’s part of Bexley’s sustainability initiatives,” Paul Matthews, director of facilities management, said. According to Matthews, the bikes are meant to be a more eco-friendly way to get around Bexley.
CoGo is a bike rental service in Columbus that allows riders check out bikes from stations around the city using an accompanying app. Riders can check out bikes in 30-minute increments and are meant to check them in again at another station closer to their destination.
The bike sharing system echoes a similar service available in Chicago, called Divvy Bike. “CoGo is actually a subsidiary of Divvy Bike,” Matthews said.
Bexley is the latest area in Columbus to install CoGo services.
“It was the City of Bexley that began this whole project … they really wanted one of the access points to be Capital,” said Deja Pace-Thomas, an assistant sustainability intern at the office of Facilities Management.
According to Pace-Thomas, the university has negotiated a discount from CoGo for students. Those interested in an annual membership with CoGo can use a student coupon code to receive a discount.
CoGo’s services are focused more on transportation than leisure riding. “It’s really meant to be like a short, one-way trip,” Pace-Thomas said.
This transportation focus is largely enforced by CoGo’s 30 minute check-out system. According to Pace-Thomas, CoGo will charge an additional fee every time riders go 30 minutes without checking in their bike. The check-in also serves to keep track of the bikes and prevent theft.
However, some students think that these restrictions are too limiting.
“In a way it makes sense,” said Danielle Whitley, a junior psychology and Spanish major. “However, if the weather is bad, and that’s your only way of transportation … it kind of sucks. Maybe an hour seems a little more reasonable.”
The relative cost of the annual membership is also a big concern for students.
“I wouldn’t pay for a year membership to ride a bike … you might as well just buy your own bike, and lock it,” Whitley said.
“I already have so much to pay for,” Bailey Sand, a junior psychology major, said. “That’s just a whole other finance that I have to worry about.”
Sand was surprised to see the bikes themselves in Bexley. “They kind of just, like, popped up,” Sand said.
Sand likened the bikes to the old Car2Go services that stopped being offered in Columbus earlier this year. “When we lost the Car2Gos, I realized that no one ever really used them … When I saw the bikes being put up everywhere, I’m kind of just like … what’s the point?”
Although CoGo is being met with some skepticism, it seems that the bikes are here to stay.