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Student Council, Chester Bike Works' Jeff Cao '10 Partner for Campus Bike Share Program

Student Council, Chester Bike Works'
Jeff Cao '10 Partner for Campus Bike Share Program

by Linda Hou '13

Jeff Cao '10
Chester Neighborhood Bike Works' Jeff Cao '10 credits religious advisor Joyce Tompkins with encouraging him to see himself as a mentor to the children he works with.

The College's bike share program is back up and running, thanks to a partnership between Student Council and Chester Neighborhood Bike Works (CNBW), run by Jeff Cao '10. Students can now check out bikes, helmets, and equipment for up to three days.

"We knew that it's inconvenient  for some students to bring other modes of transportation on campus," says Student Council Campus Life Representative Elizabeth Bryant '13. "[Bike riding] is something that's healthy. Also, it gives students an opportunity to get off-campus."

Bike Share has proved to be popular from the beginning, with many students taking advantage of the opportunity.

"It was really convenient being able to just borrow a bicycle," says Jacqueline Small '13. "It's the only form of exercise I enjoy, and it helps me get places faster."

Although Bike Share initially worked with a contractor to provide and maintain the bikes, it currently partners with CNBW, a nonprofit started by Swarthmore students that is dedicated to building an equal and just community using bicycles as a vehicle for change. For Swarthmore students, Cao '10 provides the bikes and maintenance.

"I started working with Bike Works as a student and really enjoyed it," says Cao '10, who now oversees the organization's youth and community programs, including the after school earn-a-bike program and the Chester Cycling Team. "After graduation, I ended up turning down another fellowship position to work in Chester. Now I have AmeriCorps sponsoring me and get paid to do what I love to do."