To promote bicycle commuting to campus, UCSB Transportation and Parking Services (TPS) is test piloting a bike locker program.

Twenty new bike lockers — located near the Biology 2, Chemistry and Student Affairs and Administrative Services buildings as well as next to Rob Gym — were raffled off last Friday to the 31 students, faculty and staff that applied for the drawing. James Wagner, TPS Program Manager for the Transportation Alternatives Program, said the goal of the new lockers is to encourage people to commute to campus on bikes.

New leasers were given keys to the lockers after paying a rental fee of $50, which will allow them to use the storage facility until the end of this summer, Wagner said. Users are then required to sign an agreement stating that they understand only bikes can be stored in the locker, and that the university does not guarantee the safety of their bikes, Wagner said.

“I’ve been here for six years and I’ve heard people say, ‘I have a nice bike and want to ride it to campus,’ but they want a safe place to park their bikes,” Wagner said.

The 2002 Clery report indicated that 178 bikes were reported stolen that year and that bike theft is the most common crime on campus.

Tom Roberts, director of TPS, said some faculty, staff and students who live farther away from campus would ride their bikes to work or school, but they might not feel comfortable leaving them in a standard bicycle parking lot. Commuters who live farther away often have more expensive bikes that allow them to travel longer distances, Roberts said.

“So the idea is, if you can give people a safe place to store their bikes, then you can encourage people to not drive [as much],” he said. “This is our first foray into the bike lockers.”
The department has had the lockers on campus since the summer of 2003, but disagreements over their placement have delayed the program’s implementation, Wagner said.

With the locations approved by the Campus Planning and Design Dept., TPS raffled the 20 lockers last Friday, and winners were assigned their locker places Monday, Wagner said.

“People who received the lockers were really excited,” Wagner said.

In addition to the current lockers already installed on campus, the Associated Students Bicycle Improvements Keep Everyone Safe (BIKES) is renovating about 30 new units that were donated from Francisco Torres Residence Hall, Wagner said.

Once they are refurbished, the extra lockers will be installed and again raffled off to faculty, staff and students, Wagner said. He said he expects the new units to be ready in about a month.