Grid bike share system will expand to ASU Tempe campus

ASU students will be able to commute around campus with Grid bikes

ASU Tempe students in search of alternative transportation can look forward to having greater access to bicycles.

The Grid bike share system, a popular bike rental program in Phoenix, Mesa and parts of Tempe, will add bike rack locations on ASU's Tempe campus in the coming weeks, said a company spokeswoman.

While bike racks are currently available on streets adjacent to ASU’s Tempe campus, four new stations will be placed directly on campus within the next couple of weeks, most notably next to the Memorial Union, said Grid’s Marketing and Community Outreach Manager Lisa Parks.

The service gives riders the option to rent bikes and park them at a Grid hub or any public bike rack throughout the Valley for an additional $2 fee, according to the Grid website. Grid rents its bikes at a $7 an hour, but also offers a student plan at the cost of $25 for six months if riders sign up with an ".edu" email, according to the same website.

The company operates 300 bikes just in Tempe, Parks said.

Tempe Public Works Supervisor for Transportation Sue Taaffe said the bike share is meant to be used for the first and last steps of a commute. 

“Using the bike share makes it easier to get across campus in a timely manner while still getting some exercise and going green,” Taaffe said. “This is just another layer that the city of Tempe and ASU have partnered with to provide for residents and students.”

According to Grid's website, the bike share “opens up mobility options that weren’t previously convenient and makes public transportation more viable.” 

Company usage statistics show that almost 16,000 Tempe residents use the service.

Of those 16,000, 200 have student memberships, but some students might not take advantage of the student rates. 

Parks said she believes the Grid system is convenient for everyone, but especially students.

“It offers just a different way to get around,” Parks said. “In the Phoenix area it’s a really great connection to light rail, especially since the light rail doesn’t go everywhere right now.”

With discounted student rates and hourly pay-as-you-go options, Grid bikes can offer a cheap and easy way to get around the Valley.

“Since we’ve launched in Tempe we’ve gotten a lot more student sign-ups,” Parks said. “A big benefit to students is just that it’s so affordable.”

Carlos Coto, a criminal justice and criminology sophomore, said he has used the bikes on several occasions.

“I think it’s a good way to pass the time and a great way of exercise,” Coto said. “And it’s for a very small cost  — you get to control how much you pay for the distance you go.” 

Coto, an out-of-state student, said the bike share system gives him options he usually wouldn’t have. 

“Since I don’t have a car in Arizona and parking is really expensive here at the University, I find the bikes to be extremely helpful and convenient,” Coto said.

Reach the reporter at Kimberly.Rapanut@asu or follow @kimrapanut on Twitter

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