The University of Houston is now home to two Bikeep smart bicycle parking stations. The state-of-the-art innovative bicycle parking station enables secure parking and deters bicycle theft.
The stations at Butler Plaza and the University Lofts are free for the campus community. The only requirement is that the user’s bicycle must be registered with Parking and Transportation Services.
The decision to bring smart bicycle parking stations to campus was generated from a conversation about the challenges the campus community has when choosing the correct type of lock to keep their bicycles secured, said Dr. Emily Messa, Senior Associate Vice President for Administration.
The conversation led Senior division leadership to search for a commercial solution with a locking mechanism that could also be integrated into the UH Go mobile app and with UH’s bicycle registration platform.
The search led them to Bikeep, with the project officially kicking off on December 15, 2021. The University Information Technology department was instrumental in getting Bikeep set up on the UH Go app.
“The Bikeep project was unique in that we were working with a new product that is very different from our previous experience and it had direct involvement of several campus offices including the UH Police, Auxiliary Services, Parking Services, Facilities, and UIT,” said Diane Trippel, Director of Web and Communication Technology Services.
Bikeep is a product designed for municipalities and can be found in highly populated areas across Europe and the US. UHPD Sergeant Dina Padovan noted that the Bikeep stations were placed at Butler Plaza and the University Lofts due to the heavy usage at the current bicycle racks.
“Because it’s a pilot program, we wanted to get the most feedback that we possibly could,” said Padovan.
The pilot program is expected to run from approximately six months to a year giving the university plenty of time to capture data on effectiveness in achieving project goals – increasing bicycle registration and reducing bike theft.