New bike sharing program debuts Friday

System will be run through app, UREC adds six more racks



Coug Bikes fill the entry way to the Outdoor Recreation Center ahead of their debut Friday.

RYAN BLAKE , Evergreen reporter

WSU students and Student Recreation Center members will have a new way to get around campus beginning Friday.

University Recreation will launch Coug Bikes on June 1, replacing Green Bikes as the new campus bike share program.

Donald Schmitt, UREC coordinator of the rental shop and Coug Bikes, said the new system will be more intuitive and easier to use.

“The bikes will be a great way to connect [students] with other parts of campus or Pullman or even Moscow for free,” Schmitt said.

Coug Bikes will be available at 11 different rack locations, an increase from the five offered by Green Bikes, and can be returned to any rack regardless of where they were acquired. Locations include the Compton Union Building, the SRC and Chinook.

The system uses Gotcha Bikes that are 10 pounds lighter than those used in the Green Bike program. The bikes are solar powered and the front wheel hub charges the battery over time.

The solar powered battery system allows users to login directly to the bike rather than the kiosk, one of the flaws that prompted the change from the previous Green Bike system.

“Overall, I think they will be a lot easy to use for our students,” Schmitt said. “The bikes are a little bit lighter and easier to ride

and because it’s more app based, it will be easier to find a bike, reserve a bike and in general just easier to use.”

Students and SRC members can use the bikes for free up to four hours per day. Users will need a debit or credit card to pair with their account and may receive a late fee of $5 per hour up to $25 per day.

Non-SRC members can use the bikes at a fee of $6 per hour. All users will be charged a fee of $5 for locking the bike outside of the Coug Bikes racks and $25 for locking a bike outside of the WSU Pullman Campus.

Patrons can access the bikes by downloading the Social Bicycles app on their phone or registering at the Gotcha Bike website. The app provides a map of the 100 bicycles in circulation at any given time and tracks patron usage and distance traveled.

Coug Bikes will be available from February through November, or as long weather permits. The program is funded through student fees generated by UREC.