UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With reduced transit service and no bike share system on campus for the fall semester, Penn State Transportation Services is encouraging students to bring their bike as a sustainable means of traveling around campus and the Centre Region this fall.
The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) and Penn State recently announced the suspension of the Blue Loop and White Loop campus transit routes in an effort to provide additional buses and drivers for community service routes that transport students, faculty and staff to and from campus. By redirecting these resources to peak demand periods for these routes, CATA expects to reduce the average number of riders per vehicle to help mitigate COVID-19 risk associated with longer wait periods in densely populated areas and confined spaces. CATA will continue to operate its Red Link and Green Link campus transit routes, and Transportation Services will operate its two Campus Shuttle routes with reduced capacity, but it is strongly encouraged that use be limited to essential trips so that access is available for those with mobility disabilities.
Zagster, Penn State’s bike share provider since 2017, recently suspended operations at all locations nationwide, including University Park. A search for a new bike share vendor is underway, but a new service is not expected to launch on campus until the spring semester.
In response to these temporary service changes, students are strongly encouraged to walk and bike as much as possible. Biking is a convenient and healthy way to get between classes, grab a meal, get exercise, and explore the campus and local community. Penn State has been designated as a silver level Bicycle Friendly University by The League of American Bicyclists and offers a number of amenities for cyclists. Penn State’s bike facilities map provides an easy way to identify bike rack and covered bike parking locations, as well as campus and community bike paths. Bike repair stations are also installed across campus to assist bicyclists with basic repairs, such as fixing a flat tire, brake adjustments and gear tuning. Transportation Services also offers free bike workshops throughout the year.
Centre Region and University policies require all bikes to be registered and display a permit, but registration is free and only requires submission of some basic details about each bike. Biking is also encouraged and supported by the local community, with State College and Centre Region bicycling websites providing information on local and Pennsylvania bicycle laws, tips on how to ride your bike safely in the community, and local resources for cyclists. For students who don’t already own a bicycle, there are also multiple bicycle shops in the area that sell and rent bicycles, including Lion Surplus on campus.