FlashFleet offers alternative method of campus transportation

Graphic by Laura Winger

Graphic by Laura Winger

Rachel Pryately

FlashFleet is a bike-sharing program for Kent State students, faculty and staff with FlashCards to sign out bikes on campus for the day.

According to the Recreational Services website, bike sharing is a “unique concept that enables multiple users to borrow bikes for short-term use.”

There are seven campus locations where bikes can be signed out:

Signing out a bike for the day is free, and all that is needed is a valid FlashCard. Helmets and bike locks are available with the rental, although wearing a helmet is not required.

Before the location’s closing time, the bike must be returned to its point of origin on the same day it was checked out. A $20 late fee will be charged to the renter’s Bursar account for each day late for up to 10 days. After 10 days, the renter will be charged for the bike cost and any accessories that were signed out.

Kim Rufra, associate director of Recreational Services, said the program has been very successful. She said not all universities have programs like this, and it makes Kent State “stand out” from other campuses.

According to the program’s website, FlashFleet was developed from “concerns over rising fuel costs, traffic congestion across campus, consistent enrollment increases each semester, physical fitness and a greater consciousness about climate change.”

Caitlin David, sophomore visual journalism major, said she really enjoys the FlashFleet program.

“My freshman year, I was glad to see that I did not have to haul my bike to Kent from home,” David said. “I also like the fact that if I know I am running late for a class, I can go check out a bike real quick to make it there on time and get some exercise in.”

A guest 18 years of age or older may also check out a bike. He or she must be present with a FlashCard holder and have a valid photo ID. The FlashCard holder is held responsible for the guest’s bike and any damage caused to it.

The bikes available are Trek hybrid bikes with three different frame sizes: 15, 17.5 and 20 inches. They are all equipped with a water bottle holder, and half the bikes have front-mounted baskets. A sizing chart can be found on the FlashFleet website.

Fees will also be charged to the renter’s Bursar account for dirty or damaged equipment.

The renter must also assume all risk and responsibility of injuries sustained during the rental.

Contact Rachel Pryately

at [email protected].