Student Cycling Co-Oops
Good afternoon everyone,
First off, I want to acknowledge the amazing efforts in Manitoba and throughout Canada through in regards to better the AT (Active Transportation) networks by providing alternative modes in which the general population. The initiatives have brought me to begin to understand the grass roots advocacy groups, organized student cycling workshops, municipal organizations, provincial and so on and so forth.
I'd like to present my research and hope that with the collaboration of other groups could help me elaborate my resources and have group discussions on how we can engage the student body, faculty and staff.
Just a quick note of why student cooperatives could pose as a great anchor for policy change, better infrastructure, safe cycling and walkable communities, increased AT, lower emissions etc.. Here in Winnipeg, our numbers are quite interesting. The city of winnipeg has roughly 700 000 inhabitants and over 15% of the population accounts for enrolled post secondary students, continuing education, faculty staff. The potential is enormous.
Here is a basic overview of my research:
Entitled: Exploring the potential of student-run cycling cooperatives in Manitoba
Promotion & Environment:
Our research is aiming to explore the different models of student cycling co-operatives around the world. We also want to know what services these cycling co-operatives offer to their student body (repairs, sales, rental, etc.), how they are organized, and why they are organized in such a way. We’d like to know how student consumer co-ops engage their members in an environment where the turnout is high, and we would also like to explore the link between co-operatives and universities. Could student (cycling) co-ops be engaged in a university curriculum such as a business, mechanics or social science degree? In short, how could we apply and practically use the concepts learned at school. For these reasons, we think that our research would fit under this strategic objective.
Three objectives this project seeks to achieve
- Better understand the existing Manitoba cycling environment (Green Actions, the cycling hubs, mechanic shops, etc.). Explore the different models of Student Cycling organizations in Winnipeg such as Wrench, The Bike Lab, The Bike Dungeon, etc. Define the structure and the services offered to the community. Identify the flaws of these organizations particularly in terms of sustainability (financial autonomy) and structure (not ideal to go with paid services such as bike renting or sale, etc.)
- Evaluate the opportunities of a co-op structure. Determine how these organizations could switch from their current structure to the co-op model or how to create a student-run cycling co-op from scratch. Search for possible models already in existence. Define a possible structure(s) – type of co-ops – etc.
- Identify the multiple benefits of student-run cycling co-ops. Initially, on the university level, the co-op offers services needed by the students, the international students more specifically. It could also be perceived as a practical application of the knowledge and skills students acquire in either a business/management/entrepreneurship course or a mechanic course, amongst others. Such co-ops would engage the students and increase their knowledge about collective enterprise. At the community level, the benefits are multiple; protection of the environment, promotion of the physical activity, access and mobility providing mental health benefits, etc.
(Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PedaleStBoniface)
If you have any suggestions on resources, comments about the current advocacy groups, initiatives which could help promote positive policy change etc, please share within this forum.