The Orange Bike Project Seeks Funding for Continued Growth
By Mariela Villela
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – Biking on campus just got easier through a program to help students rent and learn to work on their bikes.
The Orange Bike Project is a nonprofit organization based in the ground floor of UT’s 27th Street Garage. The group provides bike rental and maintenance services to students.
UT’s Green Fund – a program for sustainability initiatives on campus – provided a grant for the Orange Bike Project but that funding runs out this year. The workers are searching for alternative sources of financial support so they can continue their efforts.
McTzviel Oyerinde, the project’s bike coordinator, said the small team spent this past summer tabling to promote the shop. This awareness led to increased interest which resulted in a shortage of semester-rental bikes.
The project also promotes itself to UT students through its sister organization the Orange Bike Club, which hosts biweekly group bike rides in Austin.
“Even though we are a hidden gem, a lot more people are hearing about us,” Oyerinde said. “Thus, we ran out of semester rentals.”
The bike shop also offers bike maintenance, which is free for students who actively participate in learning to fix their bikes.
“Bike maintenance is not cheap,” Oyerinde said.
“Not many people know how to do it. That’s why we are here, to teach people how to do it, so they can learn the skills to help them now and in the future.”
Although there are no more semester-long rentals for the fall, there are still affordable short-term rentals ranging from $5 for a day to $10 for a weekend and $15 for a whole week.
Arnav Karnik is among those participating in the semester-long rental program. He said having a bike has many benefits.
“It makes things faster and convenient,” Karnik said. “A 15-minute walk is a 5-minute bike ride.”
He said he hopes the program will continue to grow.
“Having a more affordable bike option is a great thing UT does and I think more people should know about it,” Karnik said.
He plans to rent another bike from the Orange Bike Project in the future.
“The more bike-friendly the UT campus is, the better it will make Austin and the community as a whole.”