Bikeway Central’s coverage of Denver’s new bike sharing network continues with this interview of Dillon Doyle, Student Senator, Chair of the Student Organizations Committee and member of the Sustainability Committee.

Doyle played an important role in the development of the pilot bike sharing program on the University of Denver (DU) campus that laid the groundwork for the larger bike sharing network throughout the city of Denver.

Bikeway Central – Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Dillon. What was your role in the bike sharing project at DU? When did you get involved?

Doyle – I became involved over a year. When the Democratic National Convention came to Denver, there was a demonstration of the [bike sharing] idea and system. My colleagues who have since graduated, Zoee Turrill and MJ O’Malley, decided to bring a bike sharing program to DU. I got involved in the outreach part of the process and eventually worked out the successful early adoption program at the University.

Bikeway Central – What has been the reaction on campus to bike sharing? Has the university community embraced bike sharing?

Doyle – The Pioneers [shorthand for DU students] have embraced the program wholeheartedly. We have checked bikes out to nearly a quarter of the undergraduate students on campus, and I know the program is only going to get more popular. One of the biggest advantages of the bike sharing program is that it enables students to break down geographic barriers and get into the greater community without leaving an [environmental] impact.

Bikeway Central – I understand that bike sharing at DU was originally set up as a collaboration between the University and B-Cycle. Why did you choose this collaborative approach? Now that the larger Denver network has launched, is the on-campus component still a joint project or is it run completely by B-Cycle?

Doyle – In character with our Pioneering spirit, DU students were some of the first investors in the bike sharing system in terms of both time and money. But without B-Cycle, none of this could have happened. Through our collaboration, the City of Denver now has a world-class bike sharing program. The on-campus program is now completely run by B-Cycle, but the University took co-ownership of the program during the early adoption phase for liability reasons. 

Bikeway Central – Where did the money come from to set up bike sharing on campus? Were there unexpected costs or did the program work pretty much as expected? Was it like the current citywide system where users have to pay for membership and usage time, or was participation free for students?

Doyle – Students completely funded the pilot program…In terms of costs, we actually came in under budget! During the preliminary phase of the bike share program, students did not have to pay to participate.

Bikeway Central – Do you think that bike sharing could play a role on other U.S. college campuses? 

Doyle – I do! I have been contacted by a handful of Universities that are seeking to implement a similar program on their own campuses. It is my hope that we can serve as a role model for other Universities and students looking to create their own bike sharing programs. 

Bikeway Central – If you do it all over again, is there anything about the roll out or implementation of the bike share program that you would do differently?

Doyle – I would have provided more secure mechanism for tracking bike rentals. During our preliminary phase, we were not using the B-Cycle kiosks but only a lock-and-key system.

Bikeway Central – Finally, what are your thoughts on Denver’s bike infrastructure? Are there any specific improvements you would like to see? Do you think the city has the necessary bike infrastructure to make people comfortable using B-Cycle and riding bikes around town?

Doyle – Denver is fairly geographically spread out, and I think that bike paths are lacking outside of downtown. I know this is a crucial area for improvement, and I am confident that the City will be able to improve our bike pathways!