Bird E-Assist bikes and scooters are coming to UNCW campus this fall

Friday, August 19, 2022

A fleet of power-assisted e-bikes and e-scooters will soon be available to the UNCW campus community through a new e-bike share program coming to campus this fall. Through a partnership with Bird, a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation, students, staff, faculty and campus visitors will be able to get around campus with ease and efficiency.

“We have listened to feedback from students on the SGA Campus Services Committee and responded to their desire to bring a bike share program back to campus,” said Gino Galutera, Acting Associate Vice Chancellor. for business services. “We believe the Bird Bike Share program is a sustainable, enjoyable, and economical alternative transportation option that improves student mobility on campus. It was also by chance that a Seahawk campus chose Bird as their micro-mobility provider.

UNCW is one of 150 college and university campuses and 400 cities using the Bird Bike Share program, which uses geolocation technology to regulate e-bikes and e-scooters and ensure they are parked in designated areas. designated parking areas. The fleet is managed by hired Bird managers who oversee the day-to-day tasks of redistributing e-bikes and e-scooters to designated campus locations.

Riders can start and end their session of over 100 bike racks currently on campus using an app on their smartphones. The app provides an easy-to-use map that shows bike rack locations, available bikes, and no-go or slow-moving areas across campus.

Riders are charged an unlock fee of $1 and 0.42 cents per minute. So, for a student who wants to have lunch at Dub’s Cafe at Warwick Center and then use an e-bike to get to class at McNeill Hall, a Bird ride will cost around $1.84.

Those who sign up with a UNCW email account will receive a 20% discount. For runners who do not have a smartphone, rides can also be initiated by SMS. To complete a session, riders must return the bike or scooter to any bike rack on campus and take a photo to confirm.

“This technology is just amazing,” said David Cook, acting associate director of parking and transportation. “Using geolocation, we will be able to determine the best access points on campus and manage details such as speed, no-go zones, such as parking bridges and slow zones in certain high-traffic areas.

Bird and UNCW will also provide free headsets, less shipping, to new passengers upon request through the app.

“Currently, the Bird Bike Share program can only be used on campus, thanks to geolocation technology, but we are looking to expand the program eventually with the City of Wilmington as we collect ridership data,” added Galutera.

More information about the UNCW Bird Bikeshare Program can be found at UNCW Transportation Webpage.

–Krissy Vick

UNCW students Jake Bergen (left) and Tess Licastri (right) test a e-assist bike and e-scooter with the help of Shawn Spencer, Supervisor of Alternative Transportation at UNCW.

Lance B. Holton