Free bikes!

4:52 PM, Dec 11, 2007   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Take a few steps around the Eckerd College campus, and it doesn't take too long to stumble across a yellow bike or two.

The college has scattered 175 yellow bikes around for students to use whenever they want.

Senior Grace Gair said, "You get out of class, you hop on a bike. Go to the pub, you hop on a bike. You get out of the library, and somebody goes, 'Hey, are you using that bike any more?' And so you give the bike to the next person."

The college started the program three years ago with 35 bikes. The idea was to create a campus less reliant on cars.

Students use the bikes to get around, and simply leave them behind for the next person.

"Since no one owns the bikes, it kind of creates a situation where you want all the students to respect the bikes, 'cause if we don't, then we won't have them,” said Johnny Boykins.

Eckerd has had success with its bike program where other communities have not. The city of Tampa started a similar program back in 1997. So many of the bikes were either stolen or broken, the city terminated the program a few weeks later.

Dean of Students, James Annarelli believes it has to do with the environment on a college campus.

"The kinds of values that are embodied in our community, said James Annarelli. “Our small size. The fact that we're a closely knit community have all helped to make this program successful."

Jennifer Howe, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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