Bikes that are left abandoned on the University of Georgia campus are often donated to BikeAthens as part of their program to give bikes to those in need of transportation. 

University of Georgia students know that the UGA campus is large, and with only 15 minutes between classes to traverse the campus, students scramble to find transportation solutions. Parking passes for personal cars are expensive and not viable for class changes, and buses pose some inconveniences in terms of bus stop locations. Biking on campus is doable but strenuous on the massive Athenian hills.

But there’s an option combining the best part of cars and bicycles: electric bikes. They can be attained cheaply and provide students a convenient and sustainable way to travel.

The exact details vary, but most electric bike brands use an electric battery to power its motor, meaning that students can skip buying gallons of gasoline. This in turn means that no carbon dioxide is expelled into the atmosphere as a result of one student moving about a campus. Thus, a student can lower their carbon footprint while saving money.

Electric bikes can have added benefits outside of campus, too. A majority of trips people take, such as work, errands or casual meet-ups, operate within 10 miles from their home. Since an electric bike can typically get up to 60 miles per charge, it can make numerous trips on a single battery charge.

By riding an electric bike, you’d also be clearing up congestion from roads, allowing others to get to their destination quicker. Or if you’re one to take the bus everywhere, you free up a seat for someone else who needs it. An electric bike is the economical, ecological and logical solution for transportation, especially if you hesitate to ride a manual bike around Athens because of the hills.

The easiest and most cost-efficient way to get an electric bike is to buy a manual bike and purchase an e-bike conversion kit. They can typically be bought online or in some select bike shops. A manual bike can be purchased from Walmart, thrift stores or from members in the community, and e-bike conversion kits can cost around $200-300, which can be less than a one-year Red or Blue Zone parking pass from UGA Parking Services.

Another, more permanent purchase includes buying a bike with the electric battery built into it. One popular manufacturer is Juiced, and it can run anywhere from around $1000-3000. It would be worth the investment since it is built more durable than conversion kits, though both would get the job done.

So when cursing yourself for being late to class because you missed the bus, consider getting an electric bike to cruise around campus. Not only is it incredibly convenient and requires no parking pass, but it helps out the environment, too.

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