In fall 2013, Rice Bike Share will enable students to rent bikes on a per-semester or per-year basis. According to McMurtry College junior Sena McCrory, one of the organizers of Rice Bike Share, the idea for a bike-sharing program at Rice University emerged from a group project in the class ENST 302: Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future, taught by Department of Sociology chair Elizabeth Long and professor in the practice of environmental studies and sociology Richard Johnson. "Each group had a project in the class," McCrory said. "We decided to make a bike-sharing program at Rice, and we decided to continue working on the project even after the semester was over."To further this program, the original project group made up of McCrory, bioengineering graduate student Allen Chen and Brown College junior Clement Ory added other members such as Martel College EcoRep Denis Leahy, Student Association Environmental Committee members Woojin Lee and Oscar Xu, and Rice Bike Shop employees Matt Makansi and Ben Sachs.Chen said the original goal of the project expanded in order to provide more opportunities to students."At first, we were interested in it because we wanted to make it more convenient to move around campus," Chen said. "Then we decided to establish a bike-sharing program at Rice to encourage students to travel off campus in an environmentally friendly way."Chen said the group researched other bike-sharing programs in cities or at other universities as well as previous unsuccessful attempts to establish such a program at Rice.According to McCrory and Leahy, the main reasons previous attempts were unsuccessful were that student accountability for the bikes was low, the bikes were of poor quality, the programs did not have access to bike maintenance, and the attempts were organized by individual colleges rather than as a centralized, campuswide effort. To avoid these mistakes with Rice Bike Share, the project organizers involved the Rice Bike Shop to help with maintenance as well as bike selection. With Rice Bike Share, students will be more accountable for the bikes they use since they will be borrowing the bikes for a longer term than in previous programs, McCrory said. "The students will check out the bikes once they sign up, will have to go through safety and maintenance training, and will sign liability forms," McCrory said. "They will return them during the finals before winter break, and if they are renting for a year, they will pick up another bike the second semester. They can get check-ups and maintenance at the Bike Shop, which is what $40 of the $50 they pay for bike rental goes toward. We also provide baskets and locks."Additionally, partner rentals are an option, in which a student can rent a bike and share it with a friend, according to McCrory. This option costs $70 total per semester, $35 per person.Martel senior Anna Meriano said she likes the concept of Rice Bike Share."I think bike renting is a great idea, especially for people who don't have cars but occasionally need to go off campus to somewhere nearby," Meriano said.