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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Pace Bike-Share Program Adds Stations to Campus

By Betsy Hnath

Old Dominion University students looking for an additional mode of transportation on and off campus might want to Pace themselves.

The new bike-share system, Pace, launched April 6 by the City of Norfolk and with locations at ODU, features cruiser-style bicycles to rent, park, lock and leave.

ODU, recognized as a "Bicycle Friendly University" by the League of American Bicyclists, will have seven PACE stations on campus along with 14 public racks. That equates to more than half of the locations in Norfolk, including the Nauticus Museum, Virginia Zoo and Chrysler Museum.

Pace is modeled after other popular bike-share programs nationwide (think Capital Bike Share in D.C.), but unlike more traditional systems, Pace is "dockless."

In addition to the 15 or so rental stations, riders can also park and leave bikes at multiple pre-designated public racks.

Bikes available for use, and tracked using GPS, are located via Pace's app. The app is also how riders lock and unlock bikes.

Riders use smartphones to pay the $1 per 30-minute fee and are charged if they abandon bikes or park them in the wrong area.

Initially, about 150 bikes will be in rotation throughout Norfolk. The city plans to make as many as 250 Pace bikes available.

Megan Gribble, transportation planner for Old Dominion University, sees the addition of Pace Bike Share as a great way for the campus and outside communities to reap the benefits of biking without the hassle of ownership.

"I feel the cost is reasonable for both students and the public," Gribble said. "People can explore festivals, football games and it's a great option for those who want to commute to class or work on a bike but don't want the financial or other burdens of buying one."

Gribble doesn't see Pace competing with the University's existing bike-loan program, BikeODU.

"BikeODU offers free weekly rentals and low-cost semester rentals to students. It's like a library loan program," Gribble said. "Pace is not replacing that, but will work alongside it in its efforts to help students become more mobile both on campus and off."

Pace is offering a discount code to students in an effort to increase interest in the program.

For more information about Pace Bike Share at Old Dominion University, visit the ODU Bicycling website.

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