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Earn-A-Bike Program

by Mog,Justin M last modified Oct 06, 2015 09:10 PM

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

World Car-Free Day Bike Tune-ups 9-22-11 Bikes on TARC UofL Bike To Work Day 2011
Earn-A-Bike Aims to Get the University of Louisville Cycling (HUD Sustainable Communities eNews, Feb. 2013)
Perry Finley bikes to work! Bike To Work Day with UofL President Ramsey 5-21-10
Why & How to Bike To UofL
Louisville Bike Commuting Tips

Bike Fix-It Station + Racks at SAC Floyd entrance

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 give up the right to a parking permit for at least two years in exchange for a $400 voucher to area bike shops!

We had a record number of applications for the 2015 Earn-A-Bike Program, with 850 students, faculty, and staff willing to make the commitment to not drive to campus! The deadline to apply was August 15, 2015. Applications for the 2016 program will open at the end of the spring 2016 semester.

All 2015 applicants should have checked the email address used in their application after Aug. 17th to find out if they were accepted and to register to pick-up their voucher at one of the mandatory orientation and safety sessions that took place Aug. 20th through Sept. 5th.

  • 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 next year.
  • Anyone with a valid UofL ID who is willing to give up the right to a parking permit for the next two years and instead bike, walk, bus, carpool, or vanpool to campus can apply to receive a $400 voucher to area bike shops. Vouchers can be redeemed for a new bike, helmet, and U-lock, or to fix-up and equip your bike for year-round commuting with lights, racks, bags, etc.
  • This is NOT a first-come, first-served program. Just make sure you've completed your application prior to the 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.

Enthusiasm for this program has been outstanding, with 1550 vouchers being distributed in the first four years! In 2015, 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! Similar numbers of applicants were processed in the first three years of the program, as well.

UofL's Sustainability Council 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 use bicycles for transportation. 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;
  • Reducing traffic congestion; and
  • Rewarding individuals for not driving to campus.

Everyone coming to UofL is encouraged to consider walking, 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 be checked out free for the day from eight 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 the Earn-A-Bike 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. We wish we could award a voucher to everyone willing to make this commitment, but we cannot.

To be eligible for the Earn-A-Bike program, you must be enrolled or employed by UofL at the time of the deadline and you must indicate an understanding that if your application is accepted, you will have to turn in any current UofL parking permits and you will not be able to purchase any UofL parking permits for the next two years. Once the deadline for application has passed each year, vouchers are distributed to eligible applicants based on priority levels. Because this program is focused on 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vouchers may not be combined because the goal is to get more people on bikes.
  • If lost, vouchers cannot be replaced. Treat them like cash.
  • You must present your UofL ID and submit your voucher to the bike shop at the time of purchase.
  • 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.
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