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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 9 | Sep. 4, 2003

Bike Hub Re-born in SUB

Bike Kitchen cooking with consolidated programs

By Michelle Cook

The university has approved $137,500 in funding for the Bike Co-op to set up a full-service facility in the Student Union Building (SUB) for UBC’s two-wheeled commuters.

The funds, matched by the Alma Mater Society, will be used to renovate an undeveloped space in the SUB basement adjacent to the Co-op’s retail outlet, the Bike Kitchen. The new Bike Hub will allow the Co-op to consolidate its programs and activities in one location for the first time since the club was formed in 1998.

“There are 3,000 bike trips made daily to campus,” says Geoff Atkins, associate vice-president of Land and Building Services. “We wanted to ensure that since we’re leading North American campuses in sustainability, and in initiatives like U-Pass and the TREK Program, that we keep the momentum going for all the great things the Bike Co-op has been doing.”

He adds that the Bike Co-op is an integral part of the university’s strategy to move people out of single occupant vehicles.

The university will fund the Hub renovations through the UBC TREK Program, which promotes sustainable transportation alternatives on campus, and the new Sustainability Co-ordinator Disbursement Fund (see sidebar).

Bike Co-op president Melissa Niemeyer says the amount of money the university is providing is unprecedented for a bike project, and has helped the club realize its long-term goal of finding a prominent location on campus.

“The SUB is really the best place we could be in the long run,” Niemeyer said. “We’ve been featured three times in the Maclean’s [magazine] university rankings issue and we get calls from around the world asking for advice on setting up a bike co-op, but the feeling is that we’re still not well known on campus.

“I’m excited that now more people will see us and become interested in getting involved.”

In addition to repairing and selling bikes and selling new and used parts at the Bike Kitchen, the Co-op operates a build-a-bike program and the campus fleet of purple and yellow loaner bikes. It has been looking for new space for the Bike Hub since learning, last January, that Land and Building Services needed to demolish the shed it had been using behind the MacMillan Building to make room for additional campus parking.

When it opens in January 2004, the 234-square-metre facility is expected to offer a range of end-of-trip services for bike commuters. Until renovations are complete, the Co-op will operate out of the Bike Kitchen, a temporary office in the SUB and a fenced-off area near Gage Towers. Some existing programs will be put on hold until the new space is ready.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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