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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M donates over 600 ofo bikes to community

Ofo
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Ofo

The bright yellow pay-to-ride ofo bikes which once flooded Texas A&M’s campus have been donated to 22 non-profit agencies in Bryan-College Station.
Ofo bikes were originally brought to Texas A&M to provide an alternative transportation option to students. The bike-share program allowed access to dockless bikes through an app, charging users an hourly rate to ride. After issues with ofo providers and irresponsible use of the bikes, Texas A&M Transportation Services terminated its contract with ofo after just nine months.
This left Texas A&M with hundreds of purposeless yellow bikes on and around campus. In cases such as this, these discarded bikes often end up in bicycle burial grounds, but Texas A&M Transportation Services and the city of College Station were able to repurpose the bikes by donating them to local non-profit agencies, according to Alternative Transportation Manager of Transportation Services Rod Steedly.
“The ofo bikes were donated to local non-profit agencies to meet transportation needs for the citizens they serve,” Steedly said.
Texas A&M Transportation Services worked in conjunction with the city of College Station to organize the donation of the bikes to the local non-profit agencies. Debbie Eller, Community Services Coordinator for the city of College Station, said that over 600 bikes were donated to 22 agencies.
One of those agencies is Family Promise BCS, a shelter for families in Bryan. The bikes donated to Family Promise will be given to individuals which the agency serves and used for activities within the agency. Phebe Simmons, Program Director of Family Promise, said bike donations have a huge impact on those in need, and the bikes may be their only reliable source of transportation.
“We will share some of the bikes with former families and families who come into the program,” Simmons said. “And we will keep four of five bikes here at the facility for families to use during their stay here.”
Some of the people who the bikes have been donated to use the bikes to get to important meetings such as job interviews or doctors appointments. Simmons said it is easier for them to get to these places by bike rather than walking.
“It’s very impactful for families to have a bike to go places,” Simmons said. “Just to be able to be a little bit more mobile than walking then the bikes are very important for families to have.”
Family Promise is always in need of donations. Donations can be made in person at 1401 West MLK in Bryan. Or call 979-268-4309 to see what items are needed at the time.
 

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