“GOMPEI’S GEARS,” a student-run initiative launched during Earth Week 2016, provides snappy white bikes that can be checked out 24/7, via smartphone. “It was gratifying and thrilling to put the result of our IQP, ‘A Bicycle Share Plan for WPI,’ into action,” says Kevin Ackerman ’16, co-author with Jack Colfer ’16, of the project that paved the way by surveying campus needs and analyzing other university bike share models. “When I was searching for a project, I didn’t want to work on one that would only end in a big report or even a nice presentation. I wanted to work on a project with the potential to have an impact.”
These bikes boast an internal gearing system that makes traversing the hills of Worcester easier than walking, according WPI’s Green Team. “Whether it’s traveling to Gateway Park, Price Chopper, Union Station, or just riding for some exercise, the bike share will provide increased access to the city through one of the most sustainable forms of transportation,” says Ackerman. Tests show that biking between the main and lower campus is 40 percent faster than driving—and that’s without factoring in time spent searching for a parking spot!