By Olivia MendozaJune 5, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security has "gone green" by purchasing two mountain bikes for their office staff to use on a voluntary basis for travel on the installation.
DPTMS has taken a proactive approach with their "Go Green" program in order to help the environment, stay fit and healthy, and save the Army money.
"Riding is clearly beneficial for everyone to exercise and to get around on post and not have to deal with parking," said Michael Swenson, DPTMS, chief of training. "With the price of gas heading toward $4 a gallon and no end in sight you will see me pedaling to and from to as many meetings as possible."
Brad Barrett, emergency manager, and Carlton Bray, antiterrorism specialist, collaborated and came up with the idea to purchase a couple of mountain bikes for transportation on post.
Their thoughts were well intended as the bikes save money and reduce the use of the DPTMS government vehicle. With prices rising and everyone looking to save a penny, they took a survey from the staff and found that the majority supported the idea.
The bikes will particularly help people who would rather not drive their personal vehicle for official business when a GOV is not available.
"Bike usage will reduce fuel costs for government vehicles, result in less wear and tear, and decrease employee mileage claim expenses for personal vehicles," Barrett said. "Plus, it is environmentally friendly because one 5-mile round trip by car produces approximately 15 pounds of air pollutants."
Swenson rode the bike for the first time to his meetings on post and said, "I was able to make it to the meetings without getting too hot or worrying about parking. It might have been a little warm to ride outside to training area 10A/B, contracting and Department of Logistics, but I did it and it was a breath of fresh air."
Barrett and Bray's team effort made sense in making transportation fun, economical, and easier for the DPTMS staff to go to meetings, pick-up and deliver official mail, and increase their physical fitness.
The bikes have a lightweight courier bag on the rear rack which allows for easy transport of mail, laptops, books and miscellaneous items.
"Before anyone rides the bike they are briefed on the safe use of the bikes; they must wear safety helmets when riding, know how to use the bike gears and how to hand signal for traffic. Employees are also briefed that when riding on the road, the bike is considered to be a vehicle and they must obey all vehicular traffic laws as well," said Barrett.
In closing, Swenson said, "I believe for the bike "Go Green" program to really take off and reach its potential, we should consider bike lanes on post to improve cycle safety and driver awareness."