University of Iowa campus commuters might not need to own a bike to use one for quick trips to class, work or anywhere else they want to go.

The university, through its Office of Sustainability, applied in October for a $96,000 grant to implement a “third generation bike share program.” The money would help fund a $120,000 initiative to set up three bike rental stations across campus.

The stations – proposed near eastside student residential housing, by Seamans Center in the central campus area, and by an entrance to the pedestrian mall – each would house 15 docks and 10 bicycles, according to the grant application.

Users could buy annual memberships or swipe credit cards to rent the shared bikes, which officials propose making available by Oct. 30, 2014. B-cycle, a bike sharing system that has launched programs in Des Moines, Madison, Denver and other communities, is among he vendors that could apply to implement the UI program.

Liz Christiansen, director of the UI Office of Sustainability, said she expects to hear back about the grant application in January. If awarded the Iowa Clean Air funds, UI and Iowa City each would pitch in $10,500, and UI Student Government would contribute $3,000.

“The idea is to promote alternative and safe transportation that is good for the community, the campus and the environment,” Christiansen said. “It’s really exciting because it’s a city and university effort.”

In the application, UI officials boast Iowa City’s bicycle-friendly atmosphere, citing its ability to support at least four racing club teams, a recreational cycling club and four locally-owned bike shops.

“Downtown Iowa City and campus are adjacent, making a bike share program attractive for university students, faculty and staff and Iowa City residents,” according to the application.

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