CHARLESTON, S.C., May 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Gotcha Group, a Mobility-as-a-Service company focused on sustainable transportation and microtransit solutions, today released anonymized data from the company's fleet of IoT-enabled university bike share programs nationwide. The collegiate partners involved in the study include 14 of the company's nearly 30 bike share systems.
A large majority of students across the country (64 percent) consider environmental initiatives to be an influential factor when it comes to deciding where they will apply to, and attend, college. While further studies show that regular exercise positively impacts grades. As part of this growing sentiment, The Partnership for a Healthy America (PHA) established the Healthier Campus Initiative (HCI) based on research that 95 percent of students fail to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and more than 60 percent report not getting enough physical activity.
Universities across the country are now looking to bike share programs as they expand their approach and efforts to address both of these issues. Bike share programs offer a transportation solution that is easy to access, good for the environment, promotes physical activity and exercise, and keeps costs down compared to building more parking lots and garages. The bikes also provide schools and city planners with data analytics to make informed decisions about future transportation planning. The embedded technology provides insights into the most used routes, neighborhoods that have the most activity and also things like the amount of calories burned and CO2 emissions reduced.
Currently utilized by 14 university campus partners nationwide, The Gotcha Group's bike share programs have enabled these schools to realize some impressive benefits including a total of:
- 285,352 pounds of carbon emissions reduced1
- 12.9 million calories burned (with a total of 313,340 miles pedaled)2
- $187,678 in savings when compared to driving a car the same distance3
The University of Oklahoma
OU has seen a reduction of carbon emissions by 72,652 pounds, 3,295,595 calories burned, and $47,786 in cost savings since it implemented its Gotcha bike share program last spring. OU's Director of Parking and Transportation, Kris Glenn, had this to say:
"Offering a bike share program in partnership with The Gotcha Group is definitely one of the top three things our department touts to incoming students. It resonates greatly with them and is a strong recruiting message, too. It's obvious this generation is always looking for a more affordable, sustainable and active way of transportation."
In addition to transportation and environmental benefits, students utilizing campus bike shares are getting healthier. Paulina Cwik, a student at the University of Oklahoma, recently won an on-campus "Calorie Crusher" competition by biking 30 miles in just five days. "Bicycles on campus saved my life! I wouldn't be able to make it to the classes without them. I am very thankful OU has them," she says. In total, OU students biked more than 1,000 miles and burned nearly 44,000 calories during the one-week Calorie Crusher promotion.
Glenn went on to say that, "Our partnership with The Gotcha Group is very important to us and we really appreciate all that they do to help solve transportation issues and make our campus more beautiful. We are so pleased at how popular and successful this program has become, we just had to order more bikes. You literally cannot go around campus without seeing students on the bikes."
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Since implementing their Gotcha bike share program last spring, UNCW has seen a reduction of carbon emissions by 51,409 pounds, 2,331,977 calories burned, and a cost savings of $33,813. Nick Cannon, Alternative Transportation Coordinator at UNCW says that:
"If a UNCW student resides within one mile of campus they cannot park on campus during the day, so we, therefore, have a very bike-centered culture. Hawk Wheels Bike Share, in partnership with The Gotcha Group, greatly enables members of the UNCW population to get to their destinations in a safe, quick, and healthy way, all while being more convenient than driving their own car."
Over the course of just one week, students burned more than 26,000 calories and biked over 650 miles. UNCW student Christopher Dillard biked a total of 15 miles in five days and said that, "These bikes are so easy to use and really help us stay fit. It's nice to have a transportation option with the bikes that gets us where we need to be and get some exercise, too."
Universities are finding bike share programs to be beneficial in other ways as well. Sharon Boyd, Associate Vice Chancellor, Business Services from UNCW says, "Our bike share program has contributed to the safety of our students and staff and to the beautification of our campus. We used to have student-owned bikes abandoned everywhere. Via our partnership with The Gotcha Group, we've been able to put the money UNCW saved from not having to build more bike racks into road improvements such as bike lanes."
Additionally, colleges are finding innovative ways to incorporate The Gotcha Group's bikes into community-service programs. At UNCW, for example, students were encouraged to use the bikes to participate in Earth Day programs and activities around campus.
"It's an exciting time to see bike cultures popping up everywhere across the country," said Sean Flood, CEO of The Gotcha Group. "Not only do students actively embrace bike shares, there's strong support from the university and surrounding community as well. Our model allows schools to provide affordable and healthy transportation options that lets them put resources back into things that are more important than expensive, single-use parking structures – such as green spaces, bike lanes, and programs that encourage healthier lifestyles."
ABOUT THE GOTCHA GROUP
The Gotcha Group is a mobility and media company that bridges the gap between sustainable transportation, brand sponsors, and local communities through customized, end-to-end microtransit solutions and experiential marketing campaigns. Gotcha's proprietary platforms include the nation's largest out-of-home (OOH) college media network, IoT-enabled bike share systems, 100%-electric ride share vehicles, and customized experiential and sampling campaigns. The Gotcha Group is headquartered in Charleston, SC with a satellite office in Los Angeles.
Gotcha Mobility, a division of The Gotcha Group, creates completely customized microtransit solutions for colleges and cities and currently operates 26 bike share systems in the U.S. Gotcha's bikes are IoT-enabled, which provides partners with valuable insights into ridership and usage patterns as well as the amount of calories burned and the total CO2 offset. For more information, visit www.thegotchagroup.com, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us directly at 843.647.7342.
VP Client Service, The Gotcha Group
Intersect Communications, for The Gotcha Group
1 The amount of CO2 (in lbs) that is saved when riding a bike versus driving a car the same distance; the average car emits roughly 411 grams of CO2 per mile, which converts to 0.88 lbs per mile
2 The number of calories burned for any given person based on distance; the average person burns 40 calories per mile on a bike
3 The dollar amount saved when riding a bike versus driving a car (per mile); the average car incurrs $0.58 per mile of driving
SOURCE The Gotcha Group