Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Adopt-a-bicycle scheme gives new students a free ride

RECYCLABLE WHEELS:A Tainan university has found a way to give its students free transport by fixing abandoned bikes and holding an ‘adoption’

Staff writer, with CNA

Hundreds of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) students last week raced to a field behind the Greater Tainan school’s Kung-Fu dormitory to “adopt” a bicycle at an adopt-a-bicycle event.

At 11am, students hurried to get in line to wait for the 12 o’clock bell to ring, signaling lunchtime and the opening of the bicycle adoption.

The initiative offers students bikes that have been abandoned at the school campus, providing them with a free mode of transport, as well as promoting cycling and raising awareness for environmental protection, the university said.

At the beginning of each semester, the NCKU Military Training Division fixes up hundreds of abandoned bikes and offers them to new students for free.

More than 400 bikes were up for adoption on Feb. 25, the division said.

The initiative is hugely popular because the university has a 180 hectare campus and biking is the best way to commute to class, making getting a bike a priority for new students in their first week.

Vigliecca Adem, a freshman from France, was one of the hundreds of new students who adopted a bike.

“It’s a wonderful gift,” she said.

Liao Chao-ming, a freshman in the school’s Department of Electrical Engineering, was the first in line and got a Giant brand bicycle, saying that having a bike was essential because “the campus is so vast that students cannot get anywhere on time without one.”

Hsieh Chia-yun, a new student at the Department of Physiology, said she was delighted to get a bike that she would not have to spend money on repairing and had a basket in which she could carry her books.

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