Bicycles are a staple of campus transportation for students the world over, but securely storing them around campus can sometimes be a tall order. Bikes are under constant threat of vandalism or theft, to the point that simply chain locking them to a bike stand no longer offers the necessary level of security.
To combat this issue, the folks at Arizona State’s have come up with an inventive solution by introducing bike lockers, accessible only with a student ID card. A joint effort between Parking and Transit Services and funding from ASU’s student government, the Downtown Devil reports that ASU has installed a “secured bike corral” that is free for students to use.
The corrals can house roughly 70 bicycles, and can only be opened by a student who swipes his or her ASU ID on a card reader at the corral’s entrance. The corrals are outfitted with HID iCLASS SE contactless card readers, and in order to use the corral ASU students must first register their bicycles with the ASU Police Department.
Students will still need to provide their own locks to secure their bicycles once inside the corral. The corral is intended to accommodate cyclists who need to lock up and store their bikes for extended periods of time – which makes sense as using the bike corral takes more time than a standard bike lock.
That extra time, however, equates into extra security and for students who rely solely on their bike for commuting to and from classes, it’s time well spent.
The first bicycle corral opened on ASU’s Tempe campus in November, and in the time since, interest in the corrals has particularly grown in the downtown areas. While the Tempe PD reports fewer bike thefts in the downtown area, it is unknown whether the corrals have been a primary factor.
Either way, bikes are expensive with cheaper models fetching $500 price tags. The addition of a card reader at the gate of each caged corral means that there is an added level of accountability in the event someone were steal a bike from its clutches. It is easy enough to track the card reader transactions at the door, and if nothing else, narrow down the search for a perpetrator.