In order to solve the traffic challenges around Nairobi, the University of Nairobi has come up with a solution it deems will ease the decongestion on roads. The program is geared towards reducing the traffic gridlocks by encouraging residents to use bicycles while traversing the city. Dubbed the ‘Bike Share Challenge,’ the program was launched by UoN’s Vice-Chancellor and is sponsored by 3 institutions; UN Habitat, University of Nairobi and the Nation Media Group.
Currently running at the University of Nairobi before it is rolled out across the city, one can borrow the bike and ride it in an hour for just Ksh.40. To preventing theft, one getting a bike, one must leave their national ID and can only pick it upon returning the bicycle. The project initiators hope that the project will pick up in other universities. In addition to decongesting roads, it is also geared to reduce air pollution by gas emissions and improve the health of the riders.
Adjacent to the University of Nairobi’s graduation square in Main Campus, stands a booth that stores the bikes to borrow. An interested student shows up, gives Kes 40 and his/her national ID and is given a bicycle for an hour. The program has caught up with students and many are using the bicycles for a myriad of reasons. From the School of Biological and Physical Sciences in Chiromo, to the School of Engineering in American Wing and the School of Architecture, Design & Built Environment, you’ll spot students moving around in bicycles, proving many have indeed embraced the idea.
Davis, a 3rd-year student in the School of Engineering was enthusiastic about booking his first bike. Talking to a Capital Campus Correspondent, Davis shared, “the rides will give our minds a break after a rigorous class. It is will also provide us with exercise,” he added.Nelly, a 2nd-year Economics student pointed out the bike share made her reminisce on old memories. “It was lots of fun riding Mountain bikes in the estates while growing up. Taking a ride on this brings those memories. Sweet memories,” she asserted.
The Bike Share Challenge is a first in itself. Though in its pilot stage, students hope it becomes a permanent provision. The innovative idea if taken up by the Nairobi residents could solve a lot of traffic problems.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Luseka Socrates.