LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2016) — Last year University of Kentucky Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) implemented a pilot bicycle voucher program to encourage employees to consider alternatives to driving a vehicle to campus. The tremendous success of the program — spearheaded by the university’s Bicycle Advisory Committee — in its inaugural year has prompted PTS to renew the bike voucher program.
Last year — in the voucher program’s first year — PTS selected 100 bike voucher recipients from a pool of 462 applicants. The 100 qualified recipients each received a $400 voucher, redeemable at participating local bicycle shops, in exchange for not bringing a motor vehicle to campus for two years.
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. Vouchers are awarded with the goal of removing motor vehicles from campus. To that end, 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 given consideration.
The one-time use 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 scratch-off parking passes — one-day permits that may be used on occasions when participants must bring a motor vehicle to campus. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase up to 40 additional scratch-off permits per fiscal year.
PTS will begin accepting applicants for the bicycle voucher program today, Wednesday, April 13. The application window will close Thursday, June 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.
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.
UK employee and bike voucher recipient Steve Ivey said the program saves him time and adds physical activity to his daily routine.
“I live about four miles from campus. Counting the time it takes to walk to the parking garage, exit the garage and navigate campus traffic during the evening rush hour, the bike ride home takes about the same amount of time,” said Ivey. “Plus, it’s a great way to build some extra physical activity into my day while contributing to some parking and traffic solutions on campus.”
The bicycle voucher program — along with other PTS programs such as BluPass — 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.
Kristen Mark, UK employee and bike voucher recipient, encourages those considering the bike voucher program to give it a try.
“Don’t be discouraged by relying on your bike and giving up your parking pass. We got 10 free day passes, and I have used all of them, because there were some days where it was too icy or too cold to realistically ride in,” Mark said.
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.
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
MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398; firstname.lastname@example.org