Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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New Transportation Avaliable on Campus

Marshall University’s sustainability manager said students will have a new way to travel around town without fear of finding transportation.

On March 27, Marshall University unveiled a new version of the Rolling Thunder bike share program.

Amy Parsons-White, the sustainability manager for Marshall University, said the new program comes with 60 bikes and six hubs. She said some hubs will be near Pullman Square and the Landing.

“If you want to go downtown and watch a movie, you would be able to ride your bike down there, park it, come back out and ride back to campus,” Parsons-White said. “It really allows students to get around
town without having to worry about finding transportation.”

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Parsons-White said the program is especially beneficial for students who do not have personal vehicles. She said the bike share program gives students a free hour of riding every day.

Eric Hayworth, the recycling coordinator for Marshall University, said the new bikes are electric assist bikes. He said these new bikes are designed with an electric motor that gives the bike extra power whenever the rider pedals.

“There are three speeds,” Hayworth said. “Once you get into that third speed, you barely have to pedal, and it’ll maintain your speed.”

Hayworth said there has always been a strong interest in bike usage at Marshall. He said when the original bike share program existed, Marshall was breaking records and achieving records higher than larger universities.

“I think it’s because the Marshall was such a tight-knit campus,” Hayworth said. “You can cross it
with a bike in under a minute, so it was very handy to, you know, check the bike out at the rec center, zip
down to this end and lock it up at the library.”

Hayworth said he believes that Huntington is becoming a bike-centric town. He said that because of the new program, a bike lane will be built on Fourth Avenue from campus to the hospital.

“Huntington it’s in itself is becoming a bike-centric town, and the Marshall students really have accepted that they don’t need a car,” Hayworth said. “It saves a ton of money for a lot of the lower income students.”

Parsons-White said the original program fell through because of the previous company shutting down. She said the new program is in partnership with Charleston Mobility.

Parsons-White said she hopes students will take advantage of the free daily hour.

“We have a lot of students who never leave campus and don’t realize what’s going on in town,” Parsons-White said. “Just riding a bike actually produces dopamine, which reduces depression; being in the sunshine produces dopamine, which reduces stress. So just getting out on the bike and riding around, even if you just ride around campus, is going to help with your mental health.”

Parsons-White said there are no immediate plans to open up the project for the wider Huntington community, but she said she has reached out to the city for discussions.

Parsons-White said the program is a great way for Marshall to lower its carbon footprint. She said
this new program allows Marshall to serve as a beacon for the community.

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