On-campus bike share arrives at UNC Charlotte

A row of white bikes, waiting for riders. Photo: Mary Newsom

To sign up for the UNC Charlotte bike-share program visit gotchabike.com/charlottewheels

Bike sharing has arrived at UNC Charlotte. The program launched July 31 with 100 bikes and 10 hubs for the bikes.

The UNC Charlotte bike share program, Charlotte Wheels, is run by Gotcha Bike. The Gotcha Bike app lets users reserve and return the bikes using their smartphone or their computer.

The bike service is free for point-to-point rides. Users can ride the bikes for a total of 60 minutes per day. For riders who wish to use the bikes more than 60 minutes a day, a $30 membership will allow you to ride for up to two hours a day. The bikes are equipped with a U-bar lock compatible with most bike racks.​

One impetus for the bike share program was the expected arrival, early in 2018, of the Blue Line Extension light rail to campus. University planners and officials at the university’s Parking and Transportation Services hope to encourage more biking and walking as a way to support the light rail.

“Bike sharing is part of PaTS’ long-term transportation demand management plan to provide transportation alternatives for faculty, staff, students and visitors,” said Helena Connors, PaTS transportation manager. 

Click here to see the bike share and bike locker locations on the UNC Charlotte campus.

Gotcha Bike also provides bike share services at Florida State University, Oklahoma University, and Auburn, among others. The bike share at UNC Charlotte isn't related to Charlotte B-cycle, which has more than 20 docks and 200 bikes in uptown – including at the UNC Charlotte Center City building –  Plaza Midwood, and Dilworth.  B-cycle requires a membership fee – either a 24-hour pass for $8 or an annual membership – after which a 30-minute or 1-hour ride is free.

B-cycle has smart stations, where you tap a credit card or a B-cycle card. Gotcha Bikes are smart bikes, where, after reserving the bike through the app, users punch in a four-digit PIN on a pad on the bike.

UNC Charlotte students Shania Warren, left, of Burlington and Zabria Justice of Durham said they had used the bikes to get across campus from Martin Hall to Belk Gym. Photo: Mary Newsom