Kylie Johnson and Jim Laske, graduate assistants at the Office of Sustainability, recently rode the tricycles to White’s Mill to pick up gardening supplies for the OHIO Ecohouse.

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Farewell vans, hello tricycles

Fleet Management Program has earth-friendly consequences

Ohio University’s Transportation and Parking Services Department is rolling out a Fleet Management Program in an effort to reduce university-owned vehicles across campus and the associated costs. One department, however, looks at this reduction plan as a chance to get people riding more on bikes and less in cars.

At the request of the Transportation Department, Executive Director of Facilities Management Mike Gebeke and staff recently bid 20 vehicles farewell between maintenance, custodial and grounds.  Along with vans, a few Ford Focuses and smaller vehicles used by managers were taken away, leaving the department without adequate means of transportation.

Gebeke turned to trikes, purchasing two white and green three-gear Worksman Mover Tricycles for his department.  The brand new tricycles have beds on the back with lockable toolboxes to transport items when riding

“I purchased a (them) for the food managers and maintenance that might want to try (them) to get around campus,” he explained.

As an advocate for reducing vehicle congestion and making OHIO a more pedestrian-friendly university, Gebeke is interested to see how the trikes will affect Facilities Management. He said he is hopeful that staff will use them often as the spring rains give way to better weather.

“I walk everywhere anyway... I don’t take the car unless I absolutely have to, so I thought the bikes would be a neat alternative for people to try,” he said.

Plumbing shop staff members Deb Rodehaver and Brian Welch took the Mover Tricycles for a ride around Facilities Management. Looking to reduce his carbon footprint, Welch said he was enthusiastic to try out the new mode of transportation.

“It was great, and we were having a lot of fun riding them,” said Rodehaver.

Kylie Johnson and Jim Laske, graduate assistants at the Office of Sustainability, said the trikes came in handy on their recent trip to White’s Mill. The duo rode out to pick up gardening supplies for the Ecohouse.

“We were able to go to the store, get everything we needed and conveniently load up the back storage areas on the bikes,” Laske said.    

“I was laughing the entire time," added Johnson. “You have to be careful when you’re taking turns and be extra cautious around traffic, but other than that, it was an extremely fun, enjoyable way to get the supplies we needed.”