UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into sustainable rentals : UBC bookstore bicycle rentals Hughes, Joshua; Uddin, Muhammad Haziq; Jain, Rishabh; Sundaralingam, Lakshman


The purpose of this report is to investigate the viability of a Bike Rental program for the UBC Bookstore. The Bike Rental program will provide students easy access to cheap, reliable, and environmentally friendly transportation. A detailed look at both primary and secondary sources was done to examine the benefits of this program both socially and environmentally as well as to get an idea of the demand for bicycle rentals as opposed to rentals of other kind of equipment. The focus is on the three major areas where this program will have the most impact: economic benefits for the bookstore and students, social impacts on the campus and community, and finally the effects of the program on the environment. Research has revealed that a successfully managed and well planned bike rental program from the UBC bookstore will result in great benefits in all these areas. These include more student jobs, less carbon emissions, a campus that is more connected, and more. To better assess the feasibility of a UBC Bookstore Bike Rental program, a triple bottom line assessment was conducted to evaluate the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the program. With regards to economic effects, research suggests that the program will not only provide a profit for the UBC Bookstore but will also present more affordable cycling transportation for students than is currently available. It would also present an opportunity for more student jobs and involvement with the UBC Bookstore. Socially, both research and survey results indicate that many students were in favour of affordable bicycle rentals on campus. Many of these students indicated that they would likely use bicycles more often if they were more convenient. For the environmental aspect, it has been shown that bicycles are a much more sustainable and form of transportation. In addition to this, purchase and maintenance of bicycles through bicycle recycling would also contribute greatly to reducing the amount of waste created. A bicycle rental program run by the UBC Bookstore has been shown to be a viable rental service that is in demand, socially beneficial, and environmentally friendly. This report recommends that the UBC Bookstore invest in a trial bike rental program with a small fleet of 35 bikes either constructed by the UBC Bike Kitchen or bought relatively cheap in bulk. This trial period would best be done over the time of a spring session term, with the option of expanding the program to larger scale operation at a later time. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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