Here at Varsity Bike&Transit we are excited about two new green projects, the U of M and Minneapolis Zap bike commuting program and changing out all of our lighting for LEDs.
We are tagging bikes for the Zap programs that are run through the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Commuter Connection and St Paul Smart Trips. Anybody can come in a we will install a RFID tag onto the front wheel of your bike. There are over 30 receivers around downtown Minneapolis and St Paul and the U of M. These receivers keep track of how many days in a month you ride and you get entered into a drawing for great prizes like a $50 Varsity gift card if you ride at least 8 times in a month. Not only can you get personal benefits but it will help the cities determine how many bike commuters there are. This is very important because with the elimination of the Federal program to fund alternative transportation the cities need hard numbers to bring to the state for funding. If biking mileage is a percentage of the total transportation miles then they can request a similar percentage of the transportation budget. So come on in a get Zapped.
Varsity just finished replacing all of our lighting with LED bulbs. It started as a project to replace the grow lights on our plant wall. With the help of Xcel Energy we were able to replace a of our lighting. We went from 4 600 watt grow lights with a total of 2400 watts being used 12 hours a day to 6 35 watt lights at 210 watts. That is a difference of 2190 watts a 10 fold decrease in power used. We also saved over 20% by replacing all the standard lighting in the store. Even though we have been buying wind source power it makes us feel good to decrease our footprint so dramatically.