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Swansea University shortlisted in Santander Cycles University Challenge

How convenient would it be to be able to pick up a bike at Singleton and ride to the marina and park up, without having to actually own a bike? Well hopefully that’s exactly what we’ll be able to do from March next year if Swansea University is successful in raising enough money through crowdfunding. It is a scheme that is open to absolutely everyone – as long as you can ride a bike, you can hire a bike.

Swansea University shortlisted in Santander Cycles University Challenge

Swansea University has made it through to the second stage of the Santander Cycles University Challenge, beating stiff competition from 22 other UK universities.

Only five out of the 23 universities who entered the competition have made it through to the final stage which will see Swansea University battling it out with Birmingham, Brunel, Surrey and Portsmouth in an intense contest to raise funds through crowd-funding campaigns.

The two universities who raise the highest percent-age of funds above their initial target will win the coveted prize of £100,000 worth of equipment and infrastructure to establish a bikeshare scheme for their university and community.

The brand new competition which was launched in March by Santander and partners Nextbike and Crowdfunder has been built around a revolution-ary approach to how bikeshare schemes can be funded and sustained within communities across the UK. By combining the provision of resources and consultancy with crowdfunding, Santander is redefining the way that companies sponsor cycle schemes.

Swansea’s competition entry has seen University students working closely with staff in a bid to bring the Santander backed scheme to Swansea. Through participation in the contest, students have not only been learning new skills and gaining valuable experience, but also getting the opportunity to make a positive long term contribution to the local and campus community.

If Swansea University is successful, the bikeshare scheme will launch in March 2018, bringing with it a whole host of benefits for the entire community. This is a scheme for the whole City which every–body, including visitors, will have access to.

The scheme aims to link the University’s Bay and Singleton Park Campuses, offering 50 bicycles across 100 stations at 5 hubs located along Swansea’s main cycle path. Hubs will be stationed at each campus with three more situated in be-tween at the Civic Centre, the National Waterfront Museum and at Fabian Way Park and Ride.

The crowdfunding campaign will run from mid-night on 6 November to midnight on 8 December 2017 and the two winning institutions will launch their schemes in Spring of 2018. To find out more and express your interest in the campaign, visit the webpages and sign up to the campaign newsletter:

www.swansea.ac.uk/bikescheme

You don’t need to make a huge donation to the scheme. Every pledge, no matter how big or small will help us beat the competition and bring this excellent scheme here to the Swansea community.

Bike Scheme – What is it?

We’re aiming to bring a bike share scheme to Swansea – if successful, it would launch in spring 2018 with 50 bikes and 5 docking stations. Users would pay an annual membership allowing mostly free usage, or could instead opt for pay as you go payment. They would be able to pick up a bike from any docking station, and drop it back at another.

What needs to be done to make it happen?

Swansea University has reached the final stage of the Santander Cycles University Challenge to win capital funding for a bike share scheme. We need to raise as much money as possible through crowd-funding – the two universities (out of the final five) that raise the most through crowdfunding, will win the capital investment. This money will then go towards the operating costs of the scheme.

 How does crowdfunding work?

You pledge money at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bikes4swansea and you get a reward depending on how much you pledge. For example you could get your first year’s membership of the bikeshare scheme, at much less than the normal price. The best thing is that if the scheme doesn’t go ahead, then it doesn’t cost you a penny. The money is only taken from your account if we win the competition. And in that case, everyone’s a winner – you get your scheme membership or other great rewards at a low price that reflects your early commitment – and the scheme gets the funds it needs to get up and running.

If it’s a University bike share scheme, what does it have to do with the rest of Swansea?

It will be “the University bike scheme that every-one can use”. While branded and underwritten by Swansea University, the scheme is equally aimed at the local community, local organisations, businesses and their staff. As well as at the two University campuses, there will be docking stations at the National Waterfront Museum, the Civic Centre and the Fabian Way Park and Ride. If successful, or if we raise over our initial target through crowdfunding, it is intended to expand the scheme in future to more Swansea locations.

 

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