The UCC CampusBike scheme is a communal bike fleet for university staff. It started as a demonstration project in 2010, funded by the Irish Government’s 'Smarter Travel' fund. The aim is to offer a free, flexible, easy to use and fun way of travelling across the campus grounds and beyond. Staff members can use the bikes for work and private purposes. A similar scheme is offered by the Student Centre to students.
The cycling promotion scheme of UCC shows that pin-point investments backed by a thoroughly considered plan can really make a difference. The modal share of commuting by bicycle among staff has doubled in five years (2007-2012), from 6 per cent to 12 per cent. In parallel, private car commuting has decreased, relieving car parking pressure from the campus.
An evaluation of the CampusBike scheme showed that many bikes are used up to twice per day, depending on location and weather. Thirty per cent of trips are not work-related but trips to run errands, to go shopping or to visit the sports centre. Positive individual reactions were also registered. For example, people said that CampusBike introduced them to cycling after a life of car driving.
Major outcomes and lessons learned include:
- Trust-based operations seems to work;
- No major damage or losses occurred so far;
- CampusBike is much appreciated by users;
- Pragmatic solutions work.
The promotion of cycling is only one element of a wide range of offers to encourage sustainable mobility at UCC, such as carsharing, the sale of tax-exempt public transport passes and a university run Park+Ride service.