LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2015) — University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services is launching a pilot bicycle voucher program aimed at encouraging students and employees to consider alternatives to driving a vehicle to campus. The program will give up to 100 qualified students and employees each a $400 voucher, redeemable at participating local bicycle shops, in exchange for not bringing a motor vehicle to campus for the next two years.
The bicycle voucher program — along with the recently-announced BluPass program with Lextran and the Big Blue Cycles fleet for residential students who opt out of bringing a car to Lexington — is part of a suite of alternative transportation options available to the UK community. The programs are designed to simplify the process of shifting from driving a single-occupancy vehicle to campus to an alternative form of transportation, and to reward those individuals who make the change in their routine.
In order to receive the voucher, participating students and employees must sign a car-free commitment that will restrict them from purchasing a motor vehicle parking permit for two years. The program was spearheaded by the university’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC).
The bike voucher pilot program aligns with the goals set forth in the ongoing UK Transportation Master Plan (TMP) process. The TMP aims to improve access and mobility to, from and around campus for all members of the UK community. Individuals across campus have provided feedback on the TMP through multiple open forums, surveys and correspondence throughout the past six months.
UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday said that this pilot program demonstrates a move towards transportation demand management, as recommended through the TMP process.
"While transportation alternatives help manage demand for campus parking, shifting away from a dependence on single occupant vehicles benefits the campus, community and environment," Monday said.
Residential students are not eligible for the bicycle voucher program, but are encouraged to sign up for use of a bicycle through the Big Blue Cycles fleet.
This one-time use voucher may be used toward the purchase of a bicycle or gear and accessories to outfit a bike that the employee or student already owns. Program participants will also receive ten scratch-off parking passes, one-day permits that may be used on occasions when participants must bring a motor vehicle to campus.
Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase up to 40 additional scratch-off permits per fiscal year. Scratch-off permits are intended to be used on days when bicycling is not a feasible option for the participant, and are not intended to take the place of a regular vehicle parking permit.
PTS will begin accepting applicants for the bicycle voucher program on Wednesday, July 15. Priority will be given to those students and employees who have had a vehicle parking permit for the past year, but those new to the university will also be given consideration. The initial application window will close on Sunday, Aug. 30. Faculty, staff and students who wish to participate and who have already purchased a 2015-2016 parking permit may return it for a pro-rated refund.
Prior to receiving the bike voucher, participants must attend a short program orientation covering basic bicycle safety and regulations, as well as campus and community resources for bicyclists.
"The University of Kentucky is proud of its Bicycle Friendly University designation," said Stuart Kearns, associate director of Transportation Services and chair of the BAC. "The bicycle voucher program is one more way that UK is embracing bicycles as a primary mode of campus transportation."
To learn more about the bike voucher program or to submit an application, visit www.uky.edu/pts/alternative-transportation_bicycle-voucher. To learn more about the Transportation Master Plan, visit www.uky.edu/evpfa/node/39.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chrissie Balding Tune, (859) 257-3512; firstname.lastname@example.org
Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; email@example.com