Deals on Wheels
Sixty lucky UCSB staff were given the opportunity to acquire used bikes in a new GauchoU program on campus that sells abandoned but still useable bicycles for a low fixed fee. For $40, which included the mandatory $10 registration, the employees, who were drawn from a pool of over 540 lottery participants were given a golden ticket and allowed to briefly browse the first batch of bikes for sale before walking (or cycling) away with a set of wheels.
For $40, staff walked away with a new-to-them bicycle, or bought the bikes for their friends, family, or significant others. Others found renewed motivation to get more exercise and use their cars less.
"Everything went smoothly," said James Wagner of the lunchtime sale, held out in front of Campbell Hall. For 10 years prior to this, abandoned bikes picked up by UCSB Police were sent down south for auction. "I wanted everything to stay local," said Wagner, who is the program manager for the UCSB Transportation Alternatives Program. Open only to staff, this pilot round of sales was kept to 60 bikes. From this go-round, Wagner and the other coordinators of the sale can assess what needs to be done in the future to ensure smooth operations as the sale is scaled up to allow for more bikes, and opened to other members of the UCSB campus community.