The RTC bike share program plans to open new stands, should UNLV follow suit?

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As the RTC plans to expand their bike share program, should UNLV consider having their own? Photo by Carlos Flores.

The Regional Transportation Center, located in Las Vegas, has recently announced their plans to expand their popular bike share program by opening up between one and three more bike stands in the Downtown area. The bike share program in Las Vegas has become widely popular with many tourists and locals using it daily as a quicker, more efficient way to get around. 

The opening of these environmentally friendly, exciting new stands begs the question of whether or not UNLV should consider opening up their own bike share program, making campus even more bike-friendly. 

Hundreds of students at UNLV either ride a bike, scooter or skateboard on and off campus, getting around quicker and more efficiently. UNLV buildings are spread far apart and can even take a student up to fifteen minutes to get to their building on foot, depending on how close they park. 

The RTC bike share program was introduced back in 2016 in Downtown as a way for tourists and locals alike to zip around the Strip much faster. One could purchase a membership or pay as a guest and simply grab a bike, ride it around and then park it at any station for the next person to use. 

This fun and environmentally friendly idea has since expanded, now amassing over 180 bikes and 21 stations for anybody to freely use. This concept is one that comes with many benefits attached, ones that should prompt the university to look more into potentially opening their own form of a bike share.  

Associate Director for Recreation Programs Mike Conley, when asked about the benefits of a bike share program, stated that both mobility and efficiency would be key. 

For many students on campus, living in Las Vegas is no easy feat. Temperatures reach highs of up to 100-120 degrees in the summer. Walking around in that heat, especially long distances, is simply brutal. Having a bike share, however, would increase the mobility of the students and get them from point A to point B much faster. 

The opening of these stations could even help to deter theft, which has been a big problem for many UNLV students in the past. If you take a walk around campus, many bikes are either double or triple locked for safety, but even then, thieves could still strip the bikes for parts. 

“Something is needed, a lot of students use different transportation, or even if they park far away or live far away, it would be nice to have a more bike-friendly campus,” Conley said. 

A potential plan for a bike share program, whether it be in partnership with the RTC or just solely UNLV, had been in the works pre-pandemic. The plan was to open up stands around campus and work with the UNLV Bike Shop to pick out the bikes to use, who recommended folding and step-through models. 

The project, however, was sadly put on hold after the pandemic hit and has since had no real groundbreaking resuming talks. The concept would be an amazing way to make for easier ways in getting around and even expose more UNLV students to the Bike Shop and other facilities found on campus. 

A bike share program would promote and allow for a faster, more efficient way to get around campus. Talks for the program should begin again, giving UNLV students a quicker, more exciting way of getting around campus, especially when spring and summer time roll around.

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