As a part of Campus Sustainability Week, the university hosted its second annual Transportation Fair at CHHS Plaza on Wednesday.
The fair was planned so students could learn more about transportation options around campus. Students were able to gather information about public transit, light rail, biking and other forms of transportation that reduce harmful emissions.
A notable addition to campus transportation is the new bike sharing program, Charlotte Wheels. With the mobile app Social Bicycles, students can now locate and reserve bikes on campus in real-time.
“It’s a really cool program and it’s definitely a lot faster than walking,” said Jonathan Luttrell, a manager for Bike Line of Charlotte. Luttrell is also a senior computer science major at UNC Charlotte.
Bike Line of Charlotte, a local bike retailer, worked closely with bike sharing company Gotcha Bike, to implement a way for students to have easy access to bikes. Each bike is equipped with a built-in lock with a unique numeric code, which allows users to lock it to to bike stations located across campus.
“We really want students to explore the campus,” Luttrell said. “We have a massive campus here. There’s so much to see.”
A yearlong membership is free for students who want to use a bike for an hour a day. However, the price jumps to $30 for four hours of access per day. One-time ride options are also available.
Representatives from the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) were also available to provide updates on the progress of the light rail stop on campus.
“It’s pretty much done now,” said Hillary Delong. Delong is the senior public and community relations specialist for CATS. She has been working on the light rail project since it began in 2010.
“Landscaping is coming, but the construction is done for the most part,” she said.
With the addition of many crosswalks and stops on the road, CATS main concern is the safety of drivers. They want to be sure people on the road stay alert and obey all traffic signals.
“A lot of people aren’t used to seeing trains on the road,” Delong said. “We just want to make sure everyone’s safe.”
CATS has been testing the light rail system to make sure everything runs smoothly. Right now, police have been monitoring the tests to make sure there are no complications.
The 9.6 mile extension will connect the UNC Charlotte campus to the rest of the railway, which extends all the way to Pineville. Students will have easy access to uptown, as well as the many parks and greenways the city has to offer. The project is expected to be complete by this spring.
Others vendors at the fair were The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, NCByTrain, and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation.