Campus News

Trade Four Wheels for Two With Bicycle Voucher Program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2018) With its seventh annual Bike Week underway, University of Kentucky Transportation Services is now accepting applicants for its 2018 bicycle voucher program. The program offers qualified applicants each $400 in vouchers — valid at any of the five participating local bike shops — in exchange for agreeing not to purchase a motor vehicle permit for two years.

Jessy Rushing, a music therapist for UK HealthCare and bicycle voucher recipient, enjoys the time savings and health benefits of bike commuting.

“Biking is the fastest way to get from my front door to my office door. Biking takes about 12-15 minutes whereas driving takes 25-30,” Rushing said.  “I know I am getting at least some exercise every day, and most days it is a pretty nice ride. On days that I do not bike, I miss having that experience to bookend my work day.”

The vouchers 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 10 single-day permits that may be used on occasions when participants must bring a motor vehicle to campus. Participants may also purchase up to 40 additional single-day permits per fiscal year.

Rushing had previously bike commuted to campus on occasion, but said that the bike voucher program enabled her to make the commitment to doing so year-round.

“The voucher made it more feasible to get the gear required to deal with weather issues, which I had not previously invested in,” she stated. “Additionally, having the option to use single-day permits provides the flexibility when driving is a necessity.” 

Vouchers are awarded with the goal of reducing the number of motor vehicles on campus. Priority will be given to students and employees who have had a vehicle parking permit for the past fiscal year (July 1-June 30), but those new to the university will also be considered.

The bicycle voucher program — along with other Transportation Services programs such as BluPass, car sharing and the “cash out” incentive — is part of a suite of 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 utilizing another mode of transportation. These initiatives support the recommendation of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which aims to improve access and mobility to, from and around campus for all members of the UK community — not just those who choose to commute by car.

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.

Those who may be interested in bike commuting but are unsure what route to take are encouraged to take advantage of the personalized commute planning assistance offered by Transportation Services. Visit www.uky.edu/transportation/commuteplanning to sign up.

To learn more about the bike voucher program or to apply, visit www.uky.edu/transportation/bikevoucher. The application window will close Friday, June 22.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue