How yellow bikes turned out to be a community asset

By Debbie Eller, Community Services Director

When Texas A&M ended its bike share contract with ofo in December, you probably thought you’d seen the last of those yellow bicycles.

Not quite. And contrary to what you may be thinking, that’s a good thing.

The university is now partnering with VeoRide to operate its bike share system, which features blue bicycles. But when ofo left town in December, it left behind hundreds of the yellow bikes that seemed destined for either recycling or the landfill.

Some saw the leftovers as a problem, but the City of College Station’s Community Services and A&M’s Transportation Services saw it as an opportunity. Since one of our community’s most apparent needs is cheaper and easier modes of transportation, why not turn a nuisance into something beneficial?

As a result of our collaborative efforts, about 500 of the leftover yellow bikes were donated Wednesday to 23 non-profit agencies to provide to their clients who need transportation. We removed the locks and GPS devices, and agencies such as The Bridge Ministries and the MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley were able to begin distributing the bikes to those in need.

The donated bikes are marked with bright tape to show they have not been abandoned. The proud new owners are encouraged to alter the bicycles’ appearance by painting or otherwise marking them and also received guidance on appropriate parking and storage.

We offer our sincere thanks to Transportation Services for working with us to find a positive solution to what might have been a significant problem.


About the Blogger

Community Services Coordinator Debbie Eller is completing her 20th year with the City of College Station. She has led the Community Services Department since 2010. A native of Fort Worth, Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M in 1984.



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