By Khalida Sarwari
De Anza College has a robust bike sharing program of its own, tailored to student needs.
Supported with $20,000 from the college’s student council and environmental sustainability committee, the De Anza Associated Student Body Bike Program started in 2014 with a total of 60 bikes. The idea, said Frank Clark, the program’s coordinator, was to provide international students, many of whom don’t own cars, a way to get around their community.
“Most of the students that take advantage of the program are international students that have just come into the country and are starting to orient themselves into Cupertino and Silicon Valley,” he said.
The bikes, which are free for students, tend to go fast during the school year. Sometimes there’s even a waiting list for them, Clark said. Students can keep the bikes for the duration of a semester and renew them when time is up.
The bikes are available at the De Anza Associated Student Body office located in the campus’ Office of College Life. There, students fill out a request form and after it’s determined they don’t owe outstanding student fees and are at least 18 years old, they get measured for a bike and helmet. They also receive a lock and key card to access the bicycle enclosure.
Clark works with Calabazas Cyclery to repair bikes that are returned damaged. Students are not charged for most repairs, he said.
The program has received additional funding from the Cupertino Rotary Club. That money was allocated toward the installation of bike stands around campus, Clark said.
“Now we have tools and so forth, so it’s becoming more and more bike friendly here,” he said.
Clark said there are plans to expand the program eventually, but that decision would depend on how much of a need there is in the following school year. One thing is certain, he added: The bikes will remain free for students.
“The goal,” Clark said, “was just to help out students. So, no, we don’t want to charge any money if that’s possible.”
According to Clark, San Jose State University is in the process of implementing its own version of this program.
To learn more about the De Anza Bike Program, visit https://www.deanza.edu/dasb/committees/es/bikeprogram.html.