Number-one sustainable school looks to extend its lead
After earning the rank of number-one sustainable university in the world, UC Davis has unveiled its next step toward zero emissions. To go along with Safe Ride vans, students will now have the opportunity to bike home with the help of a licensed safety officer.
Just like van drivers, tandem pilots will be tasked with handing out bike lights. They’re expected to follow the rules of the road, including using hand turn signals. Pilots will also offer helmets, although passengers are not required to wear them.
Additionally, pedaling, while recommended, is not mandatory. Fenders will be included on both the front and back wheels to prevent the dreaded “freshman stripe.” Water bottle holders will be featured on the back seat, along with a basket at the front of the bike. Each bicycle will be Vegas Gold so that it can be seen at night. Students will also be provided with stickers if they are “good passengers,” a subjective decision that will be made by the driver.
“I like this — it’s quirky, fun and practical,” said Robert Rosen, a third-year environmental policy and planning major. “This is just something else that makes Davis the greatest place to be on Earth.”
When users open the Safe Ride app, they will be prompted to either request a tandem or car ride to their desired location — if the service is available during the hours desired. Safe Rides runs seven days a week from 5 to 10 p.m. anywhere on campus and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. from campus to anywhere in the city of Davis.
“Opening Tandem Tipsy Taxi promotes a green alternative to walking,” said Jeff Raines, head of Safe Ride Services. “During warm spring nights, we fully expect students to make the most of our eco-friendly alternative to the van.”
The tandem service will create jobs for 15 students on campus, with 10 new bikes being shelled out starting the first week of February. Five manager positions have also been created to help get the process off the ground and to ensure the operation runs smoothly.
Applications will open next week. There are few requirements to become a driver, but applicants must have the ability to ride their bike with no handlebars. Safe Ride has also requested proof of registration and insurance for one’s bike.
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