Fresno State's Red Bike program in jeopardy

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno State Professor Jerry Davoli has been pedaling around campus on his red bike for about five years -- and says he hasn't been late to a class or meeting since he started rolling around on his new set of wheels. "I can keep it locked up right outside my office, when I have to travel around the campus for different meetings and classes. It's nice."

But parking administrators say the program takes a great deal of manpower to run. Rental fees and revenues from parking citations fund the program.

Students can rent new bikes with a $55.00 deposit the first semester and $5.00 for each additional semester. The bikes are then maintained and repaired by traffic operations personnel. Some believe it maybe more beneficial to redirect the money to a program that gets more use.

"I will be very upset to see it go," said Davoli. "I even encourage my other colleagues when they see me on it, they're walking, carrying stuff, I say you should get a bike. It's a great way to get around."

But it appears students and staff would rather drive than ride. On average - only 70 students use the red bike program each semester. That's out of a student population of nearly 20,000 people.

Some students Action News talked with said they'd take advantage of the red bike program if they had learned about it a lot sooner.

Fresno State student, Panos Sheklanian said, "I think if the campus did a better job of advertising it or get the word out that may be able to save it because I never heard of it and I think during this time students are all hard-pressed for cash and if there's a way to save time and money they would want to take advantage of it."

If the program is cut from campus - officials say it will have very little impact on the budget. But riders who use the bikes say it will have a huge impact on their campus life.

Davoli said, "I think it's a great service the university provides for the community."

But it's not over yet. Right now campus officials are debating whether to end the program. They say a decision is expected by the end of this semester.

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