Ripon College, a small liberal arts school in Wisconsin, has a parking shortage problem. Rather than pave over more campus with new parking lots, the college’s president has offered first-year students free mountain bikes if they do not bring a car to campus. From the Chronicle of Higher Education article:
The college has purchased 200 Trek bikes to give to a portion of the roughly 300 first-year students that will arrive in the fall. After students sign a honor code, saying that they will not bring a car to campus that year, they get a bike, a helmet, and a bike lock, altogether worth about $400. The program is supported by college donors, trustees, and alumni, and the college got discounts on the equipment from Master Lock and the Trek Bicycle Corporation, which is based 60 miles south of Ripon.
The college also hopes that more bikers will help rejuvenate the shopping areas of the town of Ripon. Best of luck to students biking during those Wisconsin winters!