Basin Electric, Capital Electric help UTTC bike sharing program

Wes Engbrecht, Capital Electric director of communications and public relations, and Jen Holen, Basin Electric event planner and charitable giving coordinator, stand next to one of the bikes recently purchased for the Bike Sharing Program at United Tribes Technical College.

Wes Engbrecht, Capital Electric director of communications and public relations, and Jen Holen, Basin Electric event planner and charitable giving coordinator, stand next to one of the bikes recently purchased for the Bike Sharing Program at United Tribes Technical College.

When a local college program was left without a budget, Basin Electric and Capital Electric, a Basin Electric member cooperative, stepped in to help.

Thanks to the cooperatives’ shared donation of $1,500, the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) Wellness Committee is moving forward with its new Bike Sharing Program.

The program is free to any student who wishes to use one of the cruiser-style bikes – which are typically located in front of high-traffic buildings – to travel around campus. Any student will be able to ride to a building and park a bike on one of the campus’ bike racks. If the bike has not been moved upon a student’s return, that student can continue to ride with no check-in/check-out policy.

When he was told about the local Bike Sharing Program, Wes Engbrecht, director of communications and public relations for Capital Electric, was eager to help.

“We generally do some type of donation to United Tribes because they’re a really good customer of ours,” Engbrecht says. He was happy when Basin Electric agreed to chip in matching funds so UTTC could purchase the bikes, which the college hopes will encourage students to get more exercise.

UTTC Wellness Committee members have seen other colleges use the Bike Sharing Program, and were thrilled upon hearing that Basin Electric and Capital Electric were eager to lend a hand.

“We just thought maybe it would be a good idea to start something like that here on campus, and to promote healthy lifestyles, and to help try to reduce our carbon footprint wherever we can,” says Rebekah Olson, Wellness Committee member and instructor for the college’s Tribal Environmental Science Department. “The donations from both Basin Electric and Capital Electric have been huge because that is 10 bikes, and that’s kind of what we wanted to start with.”

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