UCSC Bike Safety, Services, and Programs
- Cyclists should be aware of the following safety concerns when riding on the UCSC campus. The top reasons for bike accidents on campus are:
– Excessive speed on bike path
– Using the bike path after dark when it is closed
– Ignoring stop signs
– Loose sand or gravel on roadway or path
– Avoiding unexpected animals (squirrels, snakes, deer)
– Pedestrians (weaving in and out of, or avoiding those who cross in front of you)
– Vehicles (opening car doors, backing out into your path of travel)
– Other cyclist (crowding, merging, weaving)
- The Regional Transportation Commission accepts Bicycle Hazard Report Forms from cyclists or any other commuters who have identified a potential cycling hazard during their travels. These forms are forwarded to the appropriate local jurisdiction for their action. Typically, 50 reports are submitted a year. Report forms may be submitted at any time throughout the year. For additional information on this program or to get a form mailed to you, call (831) 460-3200.
- The UCSC Bike Library offers free use of a bike for a quarter. Applicants must submit a 500 to 700 word essay which says why you need a bike, what will you use the bike for, and how will you contribute to the bike community. Visit the Bike Library website for details.
There are five good reasons to license your bike:
1. It's the law. All bikes operated on the UC Santa Cruz campus and in the city of Santa Cruz must be registered with a current California bicycle license. Unlicensed bikes on campus are subject to citation.
2. It helps prevent theft, and aids in recovering stolen bikes. Send a warning to would–be thieves: This bike is registered with law enforcement agencies. Licensing enters your bike into a statewide system of identification, recovery and notification – and also significantly encreases the likelihood of your stolen bike being found and returned.
3. It's free. TAPS offers free bike licenses and bike license renewals to campus affiliates (students, staff, and faculty) with a valid UCSC ID card. Bike licenses and renewals are valid statewide for up to three years. OPERS does bike licensing for TAPS – see UCSC Recreation Dept. and OPERS Bike Maintenance Clinic information below for more information.
4. It's easy. Bring your bicycle and get it licensed at:
UCSC Recreation Department, upstairs at the East Field House, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (831) 459-2806
OPERS Bike Maintenance Clinic, East Field House Porch, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays during academic quarters. (831) 459-2806
The City of Santa Cruz Finance Department, 809 Center St., Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (831) 420-5050, cost: $3
5. And in the worst case...bike licenses provide a means of identifying accident victims. Please note: To obtain information about a bicycle that was previously licensed at UCSC contact the Campus Police at (831) 459-2231.
- Bike Maintenance
The TAPS Bicycle Program co-sponsors a weekly bicycle maintenance clinic with OPERS to assist UC affiliates with keeping their bikes in safe operating condition. During fall, winter and spring quarter, free drop-in bicycle maintenance is offered on Thursdays at the Recreation Office Porch located at the East Field House, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Expert bike maintenance specialists are available ath the clinic to assist you with your repairs. If you know what parts your bike needs purchase them in advance and take them along to the repair clinic. Call OPERS Recreation staff at (831) 459-2806 for more information.
TAPS has installed Fixit bike repair stations at the following locations:
Baskin Engineering (east end of building)
Main Entrance Transit Stop
Performing Arts parking lot (near bike racks close to Music Center)
OPERS (north of building entrance)
The Fixit includes all the tools necessary to perform basic repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools and air pump are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hang arms allow the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments. For help with repairs use the Quick Read (QR) code on the front of the Fixit to view detailed instructions on your smart phone or view the bicycle repair guide online.
- Campus Map
The online map of UCSC has a search feature that displays all locations of bike racks on campus.
24 “smart” bike lockers are now available at six UCSC locations:
OPERS (north of building entrance)
Baskin Engineering (east end of building)
Engineering 2 (east end near Baskin Circle)
Science & Engineering Library
Coastal Science Campus (Seymour Center bike locker access is 24/7; Center for Ocean Health bike locker access is 8am to 5pm)
These lockers are operated as part of the Bikelink network, and a fee of $.05 per hour will be collected at the locker. The maximum rental time for any one rental period is ten days. Only a bicycle and its accessories may be stored in the locker.
To purchase a BikeLink card for use of the bike lockers, register online at www.bikelink.org.
BikeLink cards cost $20 and typically take three business days to arrive in the mail. Cards arrive activated and ready for use. All use fees are deducted from the card; there are no membership fees or ongoing costs aside from the hourly rental fee. For more information please go to www.bikelink.org.
BikeLink cards are honored at all Bay Area bike lockers on the BikeLink network; this includes over 100 bike lockers in the downtown Santa Cruz area. Bike locker locations can be found at BikeLink. Please note that the City of Santa Cruz ParkCards do not work at UCSC bike lockers.
For more information call BikeLink at (888) 540-0546.
Current UCSC code states that bicycles "...shall not be parked, stood, or locked against any lightpost, stair railing, ramp, or any portion thereof, nor shall they block in any way curb cuts, ramps, or paths of accessible travel. Bicycles shall be parked in bicycle racks provided; those parked elsewhere may be impounded." The bicycle owner will be responsible for all costs associated with this action, including the citation, an impound fee, and the cost of removing the bicycle from where it is locked.
How To Lock Your Bike
There are over 3300 bike rack spaces on campus, and we are adding more each year! Most thefts can be prevented by properly securing the bicycle with an adequate lock to an approved, fixed object. Always lock your bike and lock it to a bike rack. U locks are recommended in combination with a cable or chain to allow you to secure the wheels. A visual guide for bike locking methods is available as a PDF.
- Bike Commuter Shower Program at the East Field House
UCSC Faculty and staff who commute to campus by bike may want access to shower facilities after climbing the steep hills around the campus. Bike commuters are eligible to participate in the free Bike Commuter Shower Program; which provides access to the shower facilities at the East House, a short–term locker, and a towel. To receive the Bike Shower Pass, faculty and staff need to apply on-line; showing a valid UCSC Student ID Card gives students the same access. For more information send us an email inquiry.
Emergency Ride Home Program
TAPS supports transportation alternatives and offers an Emergency Ride Home program for those UCSC staff and faculty who chose to use an alternative to driving alone at least one day a week. Participants are provided a voucher that allows them access to a free cab ride home only for emergency purposes if they used a transportation alternative: bus, bicycle, carpool or vanpool, or walking. Interested UCSC Staff and Faculty can send an email inquiry to find out about eligibility for the ERH program, or stop by the TAPS Sales Office.
0% Interest Bike Loan
Commuting by bicycle requires having a good quality bicycle and necessary gear. To help faculty and staff purchase a new bike, TAPS offers a 0% Interest Bicycle Loan Program through the membership of Transportation Services, managed by Ecology Action. UCSC employees may qualify for the opportunity to borrow up to $750, interest free, to purchase a bicycle (including electric–assisted bicycles) and/or bicycle related accessories.
Eligibility requirements as follows:
1. work at least 20 hours per week,
2. have been employed by UCSC for at least one year,
3. be at least 18 years old,
4. be eligible for payroll deduction
5. be creditworthy.
Temporary employees, volunteers, independent contractors, and field construction workers are not eligible.
Cathy Crowe is the TAPS contact for the 0% Interest Bicycle Loan Program. Email Cathy or go directly to the Ecology Action Bike Loan Program page.
Choosing a Safe RouteWhen traveling to the campus through the City of Santa Cruz, take time to plan your route to avoid heavily congested areas – especially Mission Street, which serves as a primary route for heavy trucks. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission produces a very detailed map of bike routes that is available through TAPS by calling 831/459-2190. A map with suggested bike routes throughout Santa Cruz County (and to UCSC) is available online, as is a PDF showing safe routes to the Westside Bike Shuttle.
- UCSC offers a number of classes and bike rides though out the year, most of which are low cost or free of charge. If you are a novice and new to cycling or if you are just new to riding your bike in Santa Cruz and navigating the UCSC steep hills, our bike classes will help you feel confident and competent. Our classes are taught by a League Cycling Instructor certified through the
League of American Bicyclists and cover topics like essential bike safety equipment and bike checks, avoiding common causes of car-bike collisions, and best routes to take in Santa Cruz.
Our bike rides are also lead by a League Cycle Instructor and cover skills in proper lane positioning, emergency bike handling, and navigating the narrow and steep hills of UCSC. Additional topics include skills for riding in the rain, and "secret" lesser-known Santa Cruz City routes and all rides are geared to have fun!
- Consider bringing an inexpensive bike to campus. They tend to be a less likely target.
If your bike is stolen the UCSC Police Department recommends reporting the theft as soon as possible. If your bike was stolen on University Property, report it to the UCSC Police Department immediately by calling (831) 459-2231. Officers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your bike was stolen in Santa Cruz City, report it to the Santa Cruz Police Department by calling (831) 471-1131.
Have the necessary information needed for the report: bike brand name, model, serial number, value, etc.
Keep a lookout for your own bike. Many times people are able to find their own bikes.
If you find your bike, call the Police Department immediately.
UC Police also suggest several ways to deter theft:
Register your bike for free. If your bike is stolen, and it was not registered, the chances of recovering your bike are drastically reduced. Thieves are less likely to steal bikes that are registered because they know the serial numbers have been entered into a national computer database. Bikes can be registered for free at the Recreation Department during regular hours, and at the Drop In Maintenance clinic, Thursdays 2pm-5pm at the East Field House.
Lock your bike. Using a high quality U lock is the best style of lock to keep your bike safe. Be sure to lock your bike frame to the rack, and if possible, include locking your wheels to the frame. Do not lock your bike to itself. A visual guide for bike locking methods is available as a PDF.