UMKC's Clean Commute program encourages bicycling, walking, and transit use

Beau Baker of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Clean Commute program passed along the following interesting information about this program:
UMKC Clean Commute is a two year pilot program managed by Bridging The Gap and funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation. This brand new program challenges student, staff, and faculty to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips to and from campus by using alternative modes of transportation such as bicycles, walking and mass transit.

Modeled on successful programs across the country the Clean Commute program at UMKC incorporates alternative transportation education while focusing on:

* Distributing of new loaner bicycles equipped with lights, locks, fenders, and water bottle cage.
* Installing bike parking racks
* Creating of a campus bike map linking to business districts, bus routes, and existing routes and trails within a 5-mile radius
* Offering on-campus bike maintenance
* Hosting safety education workshops

I believe the UMKC Clean Commute program is a jewel for the UMKC campus (and Kansas City for that matter). Bike loan programs are all the rage as seen with the 10,000 bikes program in Paris, France but the Clean Commute program is unique to the Midwest. UMKC, through its partnership with Bridging The Gap, had the foresight to create a campus wide bike loan program using 26 brand new hybrid style bikes (along with 26 more new bikes next school year). These semester length loans create an awareness of bicycling in a town not traditionally friendly to cyclists and sets a model for other local Universities who are wanting to ‘Go Green.’

In addition to the loaner bikes Clean Commute has opened ‘The Hub.’ The Hub (not to be confused with your newsletter) is UMKC’s bike station. Any Roo can stop by with their bike for minor or major repairs done by a trained bike mechanic. I hope The Hub becomes a hub of activity not just focused on bicycles but as a resource regarding all forms of alternative transportation available.

Response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive (see U-news story here). All loaner bikes are spoken for with a long waiting list for the next available bikes.

You can access much more comprehensive information about the bike loan program at this link.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Happy riding,
Beau

Beau Howard Baker, Clean Commute Program Manager
Bridging The Gap - Connecting Environment, Economy, Community
816-561-1061, ext. 120
www.bridgingthegap.org