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University of Missouri

Rolling Rentals

A new campus bike rental program offers students another way to get around.

bike rack

Rental bicycles line the rack at the MU Student Center. Photo by Rob Hill.

Outside of the Student Center in August 2012, a fleet of 20 sturdy single-speed bicycles appeared, docked on a dedicated rack. Since then, the bikes, which students can check out for free, are rarely seen together. “They help students who have transportation challenges get to work and class,” says Ben Datema, BA ’10. “And on Mondays they come back pretty dirty from weekend trail rides.” Datema, who oversees the Mizzou BikeShare program, hatched the idea as a student in 2005. In 2012, he passed off his ideas to current students James Jordan and Tyler Rickets, who launched the program with funding from the Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee. Mizzou BikeShare has been maxed out since it started, Datema says, with 268 students tallying 1,511 checkouts.