Gompei’s Gears is a free bike share program for the WPI community. Originally conceived as a student Interactive Qualifying Project (PDF, 3.35MB) in 2017, this project has gone from theory to an impactful program on the WPI campus. In 2023, the project was expanded to cover all of WPI's growing campus. The program is currently managed and maintained by WPI's environmental club, Green Team. For more information about the club, visit this link.
Registered users may rent a bike for up to 12 hours at a time using the Bloom Bike-Share app.
Notice: Locking bikes at a station does not end your rental. Please make sure to end a bike rental in the Bloom App when you return the bike, or the bike will continue to be tied to your account.
Email email@example.com with any questions, comments or concerns about the program.
Introductory Video Series
Gompei's Gears Stations Map
Gompei's Gears bikes can be rented from Unity Hall, Salisbury Labs, The Quad, Faraday Hall, Gateway One, South Village (Via the Fruit House), and the Townhouses. We are currently trialing a system where students can rent a bike from any station and return it to any other station so long as the number of bikes at each station does not exceed two times the number of racks at that station.
1: Unity Station (5 racks)
2: Salisbury Station (6 racks)
3: Quad Station (6: racks)
4: Faraday Station (4 racks)
5: Gateway Station (3 racks)
6: Townhouses Station: (3 racks)
7: South Village Station (3 racks behind Fruit House)
CYCLE SAFE: WEAR A HELMET
The most serious injury that you can suffer on a bicycle is one to the head. It's not expensive to invest in a bike helmet, and will definitely be worth your while!
Gompeis Gears also provides high-quality helmets that can be rented from the front desk of the CC or at the South Village Student Center.
Feedback and Reporting:
Gompei's Gears is always looking to improve and see how we can benefit our users. If you have any feedback for the program or if you see any examples of the program being misused, please let us know using the forms linked below.
How Does It Work?
General Use Rules:
- User must be 18 years of age or older to ride
- User must be a WPI student, graduate student, faculty, or staff member who is registered for the program
- Bikes may be checked out for up to 12 hours at a time
- Bikes may be returned to any station with fewer than two times the number of bikes as green racks
- Each rack can hold a maximum of 2 bikes without causing issues.
Download the Bloom app and follow these instructions! Once you have filled in your credentials (please only register with an @wpi.edu email address) and read and accepted both the Liability Form and Terms and Conditions, A Bike Share administrator will accept your user request. User requests may take up to a whole business day to be approved, so try to register for the system before you need it. Once your access has been approved, you are free to enjoy Gompei’s Gears Bike Share!
Checking Out a Bike:
Once you are a registered user of Gompei’s Gears Bike Share, checking out a bike is easy through the Bloom app on your phone:
- Select a bike by scanning its QR code or in the app by clicking on the bike and hitting the checkmark.
- Swipe on the app to unlock the bike
- Remove the chain from the lock and stash it in the front basket.
- Complete pre-ride check and ride on!
(For complete instructions on checking out and returning bikes on Movatic, click here.)
As part of using this program, all members must check the condition of the bike that they wish to rent. Please follow this simple checklist:
- Are the tires properly inflated?
- Are the tires free-spinning and undamaged?
- Do the brakes work?
- Is the seat at the right height? (See the FAQs below for help adjusting your seat.)
- Is there any other damage?
- Did you secure the chain portion of the lock in the front basket?
If everything is in order, ride on! If anything is out of order, use the app to report a problem, and check out a different bike.
Returning a Bike:
Bikes must be returned within a maximum of 12 hours. Once you have finished using the bike, return it to any location with an open rack (Gompei's Gears enforces a limit of 2 bikes maximum per rack). Make sure to engage the wheel lock on the bike and to secure the bike to the rack with the chain lock before ending the rental in the Bloom app. Enjoy the rest of your day, and ride again soon!
WPI and the Gompei's Gears Bike Share team take bicycle safety very seriously, and require that our riders do so as well. Below is a list of the most important rules of the road that all cyclists should be aware of. Please carefully review this information before participating in the Bike Share! Information is also available as part of our registration and liability process. The Bike Share Team thanks you for taking your safety seriously, and understanding the risks and rules associated with bicycling and participating in the Gompei's Gears program.
General Bike Safety
- Ride on pavement (safe for you and the bike). You may not ride “off-road.”
- We strongly recommend wearing a helmet.
- Obey all rules of the road (a bike is a vehicle, all vehicle rules apply).
- Use hand signals when making turns.
- When riding on road, don’t ride within 3 feet of a parked car. One of the most common bike accidents is being hit by an opening door.
- Ride one person per bicycle.
- Don’t overload the basket.
- Be careful in rainy/icy/sandy conditions (no sharp turns).
- Always lock bike to bike rack or secure object (and make sure the bike cannot be lifted and removed!).
Rules of the Road
A short summary of key rules of the road for cyclists and motorists is shown below. For an exhaustive list, see MassBike’s summary of bike laws here.
- May ride on any public road and on sidewalks outside business districts (unless specifically prohibited)
- May pass cars on the right
- May use either hand to signal stops and turns
- Must obey all traffic laws
- Must use hand signals to stop and turn, if safe to do so
- Must give pedestrians right of way
- Must give pedestrians an audible signal when passing
- Must check for passing bicyclists when opening doors
- Must stay a safe distance to the left of bicyclist when passing
- If lane is too narrow, motorist must wait until safe to pass
- Prohibited from making abrupt right turns at intersections after passing a cyclist
- Must yield to oncoming bicyclists when making left turns
Thank you to our sponsors for taking Gompei’s Gears from theory to impact! Initial sponsorship from SGA, GSG, and the Office of Sustainability have allowed us to make this program a reality.
Gompei's Gears would not exist without the financial support from the following organizations:
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
GRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT
WPI OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS
Gompei's Gears owes a special debt of gratitude to WPI's Green Team who has taken on the responsibility of managing and maintaining the bikeshare program. Learn more about Green Team here.
In order to keep Gompei’s Gears turning, the WPI Green Team is taking care of bike maintenance and logistics. This means responding to distress signals received through the app and going on weekly bike checkups. If you have a passion for biking or want to take a walk with us to make sure this program rides on smoothly, contact the Bike Share Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have suggestions, comments, questions or concerns about the program? Contact the team at email@example.com.
Q: Isn’t WPI on a hill? Will this make bike travel harder?
A: It sure is! However, there are certain paths around the campus that avoid steep hills. Intercampus travel (from Daniels Hall to the Library or from the Library to Gateway Park) will mostly avoid those hills. Furthermore, the bikes in this program are made with internal gearing. What this means is that even at a stand still you can change gear and make travel easier. This is useful if you are stuck at the bottom of a hill and need to shift gear; you can do so without moving!
Q: What happens if my bike breaks down while I’m riding?
A: We ask that before every ride you check the bicycle you intend to borrow. That said, things happen. If the bike breaks down mid-ride DO NOT attempt to repair the bike yourself. Visit the Bike Share website to report a problem, and walk the bike back to campus if you can. A Bike Share team member will respond to this report as quickly as possible.
Q: Where can I take these bikes? Are they limited to only being on Campus?
Q: What if I want to lock a bike but not return it yet? Could somebody else come and take it from me?
A: Yes, there are many reasons to lock a bike without ending the rental (i.e. going to class, parking the bike in the city, etc.) and we do encourage that users lock bikes that they aren't actively using. Fortunately, as long as you don't end the rental in the app, you can lock a bike anywhere you want and it will continue to be tied to your account for you to pick up again later.
Also, rentals can only be ended when bikes are returned to specific bike-share stations, so if you lock a bike outside of one of these stations, your rental will not be ended.
However, please remember to return the bike within the 8-hour window. After the rental period is over, we cannot guarantee that the bike will not end the rental once it is locked.
Q: Can I return these bikes anywhere, or do they have to be returned to a specific station?
A: Normally, Gompei's Gears operates as a ride-and-return system where bikes must be taken from and returned to the same station/rack within 12 hours.
However, in the 2023 fall semester, we will be trialing a new system where bikes can be taken from any station and returned to any station. That said, bikes must still be returned to a bike station. Users will not be able to simply end a bike rental wherever they are. Furthermore, bike stations will not allow there to be two times as many bikes as racks at each station.
Q: What happens if a station already has 2 bikes at every rack?
A: If a station is at the limit of the number of bikes it can accept, it will not allow more bikes to be returned there.
If possible, we ask that you return the bike to a different location to ensure that bikes do not all pile up at a single station. However, we do recognize that you may be returning a bike at a remote location and cannot easily return the bike elsewhere. If this happens, you can pause your rental of the bike and lock it securely and return it to another location as soon as you can. If doing this pushes your rental past the 12-hour time limit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we know not to penalize your account.
Q: What happens if I go past the 12 hour rental period?
A: We understand that sometimes accidents happen and rentals go longer than intended. If this happens once or twice, we will simply send you a reminder to stay within your rental times. If this happens repeatedly, more than 5 times in a semester, we will restrict your access to the program pending an appeal.
The goal of 12-hour rental limit is to ensure that bikes can be available to all students. As such, we will only reprimand users who appear to be abusing the system and restricting access to other students.