UNT Transportation Services have installed a new corral system to help organize and give homes to the bikes that are part of the partnership between UNT and VeoRide, a pay-to-ride biking service.
This new system was put into place prior to the fall semester of the 2019-2020 school year to minimize clutter, keep rideshare bikes out of the way of pedestrians and to maintain the option of returning them to bike racks for ease of usage.
“We placed the first two corrals as a test and quickly found out that they work well and are being received positively,” George Stieren, senior communications specialist for UNT Transportation Services said. “We have found users utilize the corrals when available and are great about returning them to the corrals when one is available near their destination.”
Prior to the corral systems, many of the VeoRide bikes have been placed at the bike racks of the residence halls, however, when no bike rack is in sight, riders tend to leave them scattered around campus.
“It’s extremely disorganized and I see them everywhere,” music composition sophomore Adanze Eke said. “I do think that they’re convenient and the fact that they are only fifty cents a ride is great, but organization is key.”
Whether it be in the middle of a narrow sidewalk or piled up in front of an entrance to a building, VeoRide bikes in places they should not be has caused students to find it difficult to get around when campus is busy during events and between classes.
“There should be more of an effort to put the bikes near the bike racks but honestly, there’s not that many bike racks on campus aside from in front of the residence halls,” marketing sophomore Ally Walters said. “As long as they aren’t laying down on the sidewalk, they’re fine.”
Stiernen said that UNT Transportation Services have been proactive in attempting to remedy the problem of bikes being scattered everywhere, especially given the increasing usage.
“Transportation Services responds promptly when alerted that a bike is left blocking a sidewalk,” Stiernen said. “Additionally, UNT PD moves them when they see them, or if they are on a call, [they let] Transportation Services know the location of the bike.”
UNT Transportation Services also sends out reminders from their social media platforms of where to park the bikes after the completion of their ride. Due to the new installation of this corral system, students have yet to find out where the corrals are located at on or near the UNT campus.
“As long as I knew where the locations were and or if they were marked on the maps to visibly see them, I feel like this system would help with the bike organization,” Walters said.
Stieren said that UNT Transportation Services and VeoRide are constantly reviewing heat maps that outline the usage patterns and where the bikes are left. Based off the data, the partners then determined the best spots to install the bike corrals.
There are currently two bike corrals placed on designated spots at UNT. One is right by the new E-Ride shelter near the Fouts Field area and the other is by the Language building near Avenue A and West Mulberry Street. Plans to install another corral near the UNT University Services Building will take place in early November.
UNT Transportation Services and VeoRide plan to have 10 corrals in place by the end of the 2019 fall semester.
“That [the corral system] would make it better, it just depends on the people,” Eke said. “Whether or not they use it is up to them but the fact that there would be a set place aside for the VeoRides to be, that’s all that UNT Transportation has to do. The rest is up to us.”
Covering all of Denton, both on and off campus, VeoRide and UNT Transportation Services are looking at ways to make it easier and better for users with and without the annual membership and for students by offering discounts and promotional offers.
“Technology moves fast in this space,” Stiernen said. “We, along with our great partners are VeoRide, want to remain at the forefront of it in order to provide the best and most expansive service possible.”
Featured Image: VeoRide bikes sit behind the BLB near the new dining hall construction site. Image by Theophilus Bowie