Since abandoned bikes have long been left on racks at the University of Georgia, BikeAthens has partnered with the university to provide these bikes for students and employees since 2014.
The program, called reCYCLE, works to recycle and redistribute bicycles to UGA students and employees.
According to Jason Perry, program coordinator for the UGA Office of Sustainability, it is primarily for students who are in need of affordable transportation.
“ReCYCLE is a small program with limited capacity. The initial focus was students, but we have provided bikes to about four employees so far,” Perry said.
The bikes provided by reCYCLE are unused, locked to racks for months, abandoned by their owners. After a 90-day impound period where the bikes can be picked up, bicycles are donated to BikeAthens for the program, Perry said.
From there, BikeAthens refurbishes the bikes through their Bike Recycling Program and re-donates them to people in need of transportation.
In 2017, BikeAthens refurbished 121 donated bikes — 69 for children and 52 for adults, according to its website.
With each regular bicycle donation, BikeAthens includes a helmet, safety lights, and a lock. Perry says that for bikes donated to UGA students and employees, the university covers these costs.
“In order not to burden BikeAthens with additional expenses, the UGA Office of Sustainability pays for the lights, helmets, and locks that go along with the bikes that are donated through reCYCLE,” Perry said.
The program has several local service partner agencies, including the UGA Office of Sustainability, UGA Transportation and Parking, and the UGA Police Department. Transportation and Parking Services holds the bikes, while UGAPD cuts the locks of abandoned bikes.
If you are a UGA student in need of transportation, students can get referrals through counselors in Counseling and Psychiatric Services, Student Care and Outreach, The Student Emergency Fund or the Fanning Institute EMBARK program.
Employees with transportation needs are also eligible through a referral from their supervisor.