In it’s first year, the Sensible Modes of Alternative Road Transportation (SMART) Fair is prepared to go the distance, on foot of course.
The CSU event, on the Lory Student Center Plaza Aug. 27- 28, is promoting the transportation options readily available to students other than driving a vehicle.
“The whole idea of the fair is to show them the kind of alternative ways of getting to campus while leaving the car at home,” said Transfort Marketing Analyst Judith Lavelle.
By using other modes of transportation to get to class, students are helping the environment, improving personal health and keeping money in the wallet rather than the gas tank, said Off-Campus Student Services Assistant Director Jan Rastall.
These benefits, along with the desire to inform people of the advantages, are the motivations behind the event.
“We really want to see students take care of themselves,” Rastall said. “Even if it’s just one day a week that they ride their bike to school. They can start small and work their way up.”
And riding a bike to school shouldn’t be that difficult considering the size of this town, said Recycled Cycles General Manager Sam Moes.
“Most places in Fort Collins you can ride a bike to as fast as you can drive, if not faster,” he said.
Campus is also an easy place to navigate on a bicycle, Moes said.
“Campus is pretty mellow as long as you have a headlight,” he said. “It’s a laid-back place to ride.”
And if a headlight is exactly what the bike is missing, free bike lights will be given to any student who pays the $5 to register his or her bicycle at the fair. The free gift is part of an incentive to encourage students to register their bicycles and be street legal, keeping them ticket-free.
“We don’t want to discourage students. We want to prevent them from getting tickets,” Rastall said.
Riding a bus is also a sensible way to get to class without having to get behind the wheel of a car, and is one of the transportation services that will be highlighted at the fair.
And Transfort also has its own list of incentives.
On Monday, the first 275 sophomores who get their bus passes and fill out a form in the CSU coupon book will receive a free shirt. Everyone after that will take home a frisbee.
Juniors will receive the same treatment on the second day of the fair.
“It’s very exciting. It’s a non-traditional way to involve students,” Lavelle said.
Transfort gave out 1,058 student bus passes on the first day of classes last year. This year, 2,098 were handed out.
“People know we’re here now,” Lavelle said.
But it’s always good to make sure. So, Transfort is also bringing in two local radio stations, 99.9 The Point and Kiss FM, for entertainment during the fair.
“We are sponsoring two live remotes,” Lavelle said. “Transfort has never done anything like this before.”
Recycled Cycles and other companies will be showcasing different styles of bikes and ways people can upgrade their wheels. Wright Life, located on 200 Linden St., will be at the event giving free tune-ups.
CSU’s Wellness Zone will also be participating by selling helmets and registering people for Walk 4 Wellness, a program developed to encourage students to be more physically active during the school semesters.
CSUPD is also hosting a bike giveaway.
All of the participating groups make this event a hopeful one, Rastall said.
“We are really excited about it,” she said.
And with a good turnout and some luck, there might be a SMART fair next year.
“We definitely would like to make this an annual event,” Rastall said.
Sponsors of the event:
Off-Campus Student Services, CSU Housing and Dining, CSUPD, Hartshorn Health Center, City of Fort Collins Bike Program, Ram Wheels and Transfort