April 25, 2018

Dockless bike-sharing pilot continues through summer; preferred pricing available for VU, VUMC

Vanderbilt’s six-month dockless bike-share pilot enters a new phase this Friday, marking the end of the first month of the launch designed to bolster the university’s mobility and transportation strategy.


Vanderbilt’s six-month pilot of a dockless bike-share program enters a new phase on Friday, April 27, marking the end of the first month of the launch designed to bolster the university’s mobility and transportation strategy.

The university partnered with ofo to bring 120 bikes to campus on March 27, with rides free for all users the first month. From April 28 until the end of the pilot, members of the Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center communities will receive a preferred pricing rate of 50 cents per hour when using their VU or VUMC email addresses.

According to ofo, ridership is high. More than 50,000 trips were completed within the first month. The university offers the following reminders to ensure accessibility and safety:

Preferred parking areas on campus are marked with green paint and a bicycle symbol. (Vanderbilt University)
  • Users are encouraged to park bikes on campus at racks and at preferred parking areas marked with green paint and a bicycle symbol. Users must lock the bike to end the ride and prevent further charges.
  • Bikes should not be parked in the middle of paths, along fences, near doorways, next to stairways or in front of accessible paths. Incidents involving inappropriate handling of bikes are monitored and reported accordingly.
  • A geofence boundary outlines where users can park the bikes. Trips can occur outside the boundary, but parking at the end of a ride should be within it. Leaving bikes outside the boundary for more than two hours will result in a lower ofo score in the app.
  • Dismount zones, where bikes must be walked, include the 21st Avenue pedestrian bridges, the Medical Center plaza and the Rand wall.
  • Bikes are designed to be available to all users; they may not be parked inside residence halls or personal residences.

The pilot is supported by FutureVU, Vanderbilt’s land use planning initiative. During transportation working groups at the Wond’ry and other community forums, the FutureVU team received numerous recommendations to expand bike-share programs on campus.

Bikes will continue to be available to faculty, staff, students and visitors throughout the summer. Vanderbilt is assessing the bike-share program throughout the pilot and will consider extending the program at the end of this period.

Bikes parked improperly or in need of maintenance can be reported via the ofo app, by phone at 615-863-3094 or by email at support@ofobike.com. For more instructions on how to use ofo bikes, visit the university’s dockless bike-share pilot webpage.

To provide feedback, users are encouraged to take this five- to 10-minute survey, or contact ofobikes@vanderbilt.edu.