By Kulsum Musani
In fall 2010, Benedictine University started the BenU Bike Program, which allows students, staff and faculty to rent bikes at no cost. Initiated by Club 350, the International Office and Years for the Environment, the bikes allow students and staff to do their part to lower their carbon footprint and promote a healthier lifestyle.
“I highly suggest the bikes, since they are very recently purchased,” said Club 350 board member Theresa Kimmitt, “They are an easy ride and stylish.” While the program was originally intended for students, faculty and staff have also taken advantage of the program.
According to Kimmitt, the Ben Bike Program “has done well enough that at least once a day, a bike is ‘rented’ out. This is excluding snowy, rainy, or extremely cold days.”
Years for the Environment, which was established by Benedictine University to increase environmental awareness, recently donated ten bikes, adding on to the original bicycles donated by the International Office and through a bike drive held by Club 350. In order to maintain the bicycles and raise money for more bikes, Club 350 has held several bake sales.
The bicycles, which also come with locks, can be rented at the Student Activities Office in Krasa 113 with a BenCard for a maximum of 24 hours. Student Activities is also assisting the program, which aims to promote environmental consciousness.
Commuters and residents alike have been able to use the bike program for various reasons. “I used them last week because I went tanning everyday and I didn’t have a car. They are very easy to check out and I like that they are free,” commented sophomore Candice Cuppini.
“The bikes never have to ‘stay’ on campus. There are several bike trails found around Benedictine, including one to downtown Lisle,” said Kimmitt, who believes that the BenU Bike Program is advantageous for both resident and commuter students. “I’ve seen people use their bikes to get groceries, odd items, and even keep their parking spot.”
“I liked that they were around because it was a nice day out and I really wanted to do something outside,” enthused sophomore Harjot Sangha. “My friends and I decided to go on a bike ride and conveniently enough, we were able to rent bikes and actually go on a leisurely bike ride. I would definitely recommend both resident and commuter students to take advantage of the Ben Bike Program.”