Bike Voucher Program
UK Transportation Services is now accepting applicants for its 2018 bicycle voucher program. The program offers qualified applicants each $400 in vouchers - valid at any of the five participating local bike shops - in exchange for agreeing not to purchase a motor vehicle permit for two years.
The bicycle voucher program began in 2015, and is part of a suite of alternative transportation options available to the UK community that also includes the BluPass partnership with Lextran and the Big Blue Cycles fleet for residential students who opt out of bringing a car to Lexington. These programs are designed to simplify the process of shifting from driving a single-occupancy vehicle to campus to an alternative form of transportation, and to reward those individuals who make the change in their routine.
The bike voucher program aligns with the goals set forth in the UK Transportation Master Plan (TMP). The TMP aims to improve access and mobility to, from, and around campus for all members of the UK community. The program was spearheaded by the University’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC).
How It Works
The bicycle voucher program will give qualified students and employees each four $100 vouchers to spend at participating local bicycle shops. This voucher may be used toward the purchase of a bicycle or toward gear and accessories to outfit a bike that the employee or student already owns. Program participants will also receive ten (10) single-day permits that may be used on occasions when participants must bring a motor vehicle to campus. Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase up to 40 additional single-day permits per fiscal year. Single-day permits are intended to be used on days when bicycling is not a feasible option for the participant, and are not intended to take the place of a regular vehicle parking permit.
The purpose of the bicycle voucher program is to reduce the number of single-occupancy motor vehicle trips to, from and around campus, and to promote modes of transportation that save money (for individuals and the University), foster healthier lifestyles and have lower environmental impacts.
Those who accept a voucher must return any current parking permits to Transportation Services and sign a two-year car-free commitment, making them ineligible to purchase a new motor vehicle permit for two full calendar years. If you cannot make this long-term commitment and think you may want a motor vehicle parking permit due to changes in circumstances (weather, job or home location, medical issues, etc.), this program is not for you. Emergency appeals will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require full repayment of the portion of the voucher used by recipient.
The vouchers and complimentary single-day permits are considered a taxable fringe benefit under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Taxes will be withheld from participating employees' paychecks upon redemption of the vouchers and acceptance of the single-day permits.
Transportation Services will begin accepting applications for the bicycle voucher program on Wednesday, April 11. Apply online at www.uky.edu/transportation/help-and-resources_bicycle-voucher-form. The application window will close on Friday, June 22.
Those students, faculty and staff who qualify and are selected will be notified via email that they are eligible to pick up four vouchers worth up to $100 each for use at designated local bike shops. To claim their vouchers, accepted applicants must attend a program orientation and safety session.
- Participants must sign a car-free commitment that will prevent them from purchasing a vehicle parking permit for two years. Participants may still purchase a limited number of single-day permits for occasions they must bring a motor vehicle to campus, as outlined above.
- Vouchers are awarded with the goal of removing motor vehicles from campus. To that end, priority will be given to students and employees who have had a vehicle parking permit for the past fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), but those new to the university will also be given consideration.
- Residential students are not eligible for the bicycle voucher program, but are encouraged to sign up for use of a bicycle through the Big Blue Cycles fleet.
- Only faculty and staff with main campus assignments are eligible to participate.
- Only employees who work weekday, daytime shifts are eligible to participate.
- Faculty and staff with temporary work assignments must have a work assignment end date of at least two (2) years later than the date of voucher issue to be considered for the program.
- Students must have an expected graduation date for at least two (2) academic years later than the date of voucher issue to be considered for the program.
- Faculty, staff and students who wish to participate and live in the same household as another eligible faculty, staff or student are subject to additional restrictions to prevent abuse of the program.
- Prior to receiving the bike voucher, prospective participants must attend a short program orientation covering basic bicycle safety and regulations, as well as campus and community resources for bicyclists. Prospective participants may reschedule their orientation date; however, prospective participants who are absent from orientation without notice may be subject to removal from consideration.
- Participants suspected of engaging in fraudulent behavior may be subject to further restrictions, repayment of the voucher, removal from the program and future disqualification from the program.
- Participants are limited to one iteration of one alternative transportation incentive program; they may not participate in the programs concurrently or consecutively. This means that you could do either cash out or bike voucher, but not both. However, bike voucher and cash out participants are not restricted from participating in the Commute Club.