Earn-A-Bike Program

UofL students, faculty & staff willing to forgo the right to a parking permit for the next two years are eligible to receive a $400 voucher to an area bike shop!

NOTICE: Due to severe budget cuts, UofL's Earn-A-Bike Program was suspended in 2017.
In spite of the difficult financial situation, the UofL Sustainability Council had hoped that the program might be able to continue at some level. Unfortunately, the Administration decided to suspend all dedicated funding for implementation of UofL's Climate Action Plan in FY 2017-18 and again in FY 2018-19. We are hopeful that funding will be restored to the program in 2019-20. We most likely will not know for sure until early summer 2019. We will revise this webpage and issue announcements about the 2019 Earn-A-Bike Program as soon as we know more. Thank you for your patience.
In the meantime, we encourage you to take advantage of all the transportation alternatives offered at UofL, especially the free UofL BikeShare Program and the city-wide LouVelo BikeShare network with stations at UofL's HSC and Belknap Campuses (and 50%-off monthly memberships for everyone at UofL using your @louisville.edu email address!).

Sick of the hassle & expense of driving to campus?!

Want to try something cheaper, healthier & greener?!

UofL’s Sustainability Council accepts applications every summer from those willing to not drive to campus and to give up the right to a parking permit for the next two years in exchange for a $400 voucher to area bike shops! The primary intent of this program is to get people out of the habit of driving to campus, and to start new folks to campus off with car-free habits.

  • Anyone with a valid UofL ID who is willing to get to campus without driving (i.e. bike, walk, skate, bus, carpool, or vanpool) and to formally give up the right to a parking permit for the next two years is eligible to apply to receive a $400 voucher to several local bike shops. Vouchers can be redeemed for a new bike, helmet, and lock, or to fix-up and equip your bike for year-round commuting with lights, racks, bags, etc.
  • This is an ANNUAL program with a new round of voucher distributions occurring at the beginning of each Fall semester. Those who are not accepted or unable to make the commitment this year may reapply the following year.
  • This is NOT a first-come, first-served program. Just make sure you've completed your application prior to the annual deadline.
  • If you plan to purchase a parking permit for Fall, but have not yet done so, wait until AFTER purchasing your permit to complete your application. You will need the permit number to apply.

    UofL's Sustainability Council first launched the Earn-A-Bike program in August 2012 as part of our Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to encourage students and employees to adopt bicycling for transportation as a healthy lifestyle. Enthusiasm for this program has been outstanding, with a total of 3744 applicants and 1908 vouchers being distributed in the first five years! A record 850 UofL students, faculty, and staff expressed willingness to commit to not driving to campus for at least two years by applying for the program in 2015! Similar numbers of applicants were processed in the first three years of the program, as well. 560 individuals applied in 2016.

    The goals of this nationally-recognized, award-winning program include:

    • Reducing the vehicle miles traveled to campus (and associated pollution);
    • Reducing the number of vehicles that must be parked on and around campus;
    • Increasing health and activity levels within the UofL community;
    • Saving money you would otherwise spend on gas, parking, and other automobile expenses (i.e. reducing the costs of a UofL education for student participants);
    • Reducing traffic congestion; and
    • Rewarding individuals for not driving to campus.

      Everyone coming to UofL is encouraged to consider walking, skating, bicycling, taking the TARC bus (free with UofL ID!), carpooling, or vanpooling. Those needing a car once they're on campus can rent one from our fuel-efficient fleet for a low hourly rate through the UofL CarShare program. Bikes can also be checked out free for the day from 11 campus locations through the UofL BikeShare program. Full details on all of these transportation alternatives here.

      UofL’s Sustainability Council has a limited annual budget for this program. Each August, the program offers a limited number of bike shop vouchers to those willing to use alternative means of getting to campus other than driving.

      To be eligible for the Earn-A-Bike program, you must be enrolled or employed by UofL at the time of the annual deadline and you must indicate an understanding that in order to receive a voucher:
      1. For the next two years, you will have to get to campus without driving (i.e. bike, walk, skate, bus, carpool, or vanpool) even if your housing location or other personal circumstances change;
      2. You will have to turn in any current UofL parking permits you own;
      3. You will not be able to purchase or use any UofL parking permits for the next two years from the deadline; and
      4. To pick-up your voucher, you must attend a one-hour orientation and safety session which will be held at a variety of times and days of the week on both Belknap campus and at the Health Sciences Center at the beginning of the fall semester.
      That is how you EARN your voucher. There are no exceptions or partial commitments allowed. If you cannot fully abide by the terms of this agreement for the next two years, please do not apply.

      Bikes can be taken on any TARC bus (always free with UofL ID)

      Once the deadline for application has passed each year, vouchers are distributed to eligible applicants based on a prioritization scheme designed to create the greatest impact in terms of changing behavior and reaching as many people as possible. Top priority is given to current UofL parking permit holders, then former UofL parking permit holders, then all others. Those new to campus are given special consideration. Former program beneficiaries are given lowest priority.

      How the Program Works:

      • Those students, faculty and staff who qualify and are selected will be notified via email just after the application deadline that they are eligible to pick up a voucher worth up to $400 (sales tax-exempt), to be used at designated local bike shops (not online retailers, discounters, or big box stores - UofL is committed to supporting a vibrant, sustainable local economy and we know you will value the quality products and services available at local shops).
      • Each voucher is intended to cover the costs of a reliable, basic commuter bicycle, helmet and U-lock, but can be used to purchase any bicycling-related products or services offered by the shops. Get a new bike, or fix-up and equip the one you have for year-round commuting with fenders, lights, baskets, racks, pannier bags, a pump, maintenance tools, lubricant, spare parts, tubes and tire liners, etc.
      • Those who accept a voucher must return to the Parking Office any current UofL parking permits and will not be eligible to purchase a new permit for two full calendar years.If you cannot make this long-term commitment and think you might want a permit in the future due to changes in weather, relocation, medical issues, theft of your bike, future availability of reserved parking spots, etc. then this program is NOT for you!
      • To pick up vouchers, accepted applicants MUST attend one of several one-hour orientation and safety sessions. A complete schedule and link to register for these sessions is sent with the program acceptance email. Sessions are made available at a variety of times and days of the week on both Belknap campus and at the Health Sciences Center.
      • Vouchers can only be redeemed by the recipient. They are non-transferable.
      • You must present your UofL ID and submit your voucher to the bike shop at the time of purchase.
      • Vouchers may not be combined because the goal is to get more people on bikes.
      • Vouchers have no cash value. No change or gift cards will be issued. Any unused portion of the $400 value of the voucher will be used by the university for other related programs.
      • Vouchers expire within three months of issue.
      • Each voucher may only be used for one transaction at one bike shop.
      • If lost, vouchers cannot be replaced. Treat them like cash.
      • Voucher users may choose to spend additional personal funds (though they will be subject to sales tax), or to not redeem the full amount of the voucher. Get whatever you need to be safe and comfortable commuting year-round by bike.

      Where to Check-Out, Fix-up, and Park Bikes

      This UofL Bike Map covers all three UofL campuses and indicates where to find bike parking, fix-it stations, and bikeshare check-out locations!

      • RED icons = COVERED bike parking.
      • BLUE icons = exposed bike parking.
      • YELLOW wrench icons = Bike Fix-It stations with tools and pump.
      • GREEN Bike icons = UofL BikeShare locations from which bikes can be checked-out free for the day with UofL ID.