Red Bikes Program

Dickinson College (Center for Sustainability Education) loans bikes to members of the Dickinson College community through its FREE Red Bikes program. Students, faculty, staff, and visiting family members may borrow a bike for a few hours–or an entire day–so long as they return the bike before sundown of that same day. Check out/Check in is managed through the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

When you need to run that quick errand to Walmart, or perhaps if you’d like to take a trip to the College Farm, riding a Dickinson Red Bike is a great alternative to driving a car around Carlisle. Come to the DPS dispatch window in Kaufman Hall and offer up your Dickinson ID or driver’s license and you’ll receive a bike number, a corresponding lock and key, and a helmet if you want one.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Where do I go to borrow a Dickinson Red Bike?
A:  The Dickinson Red Bikes are situated right outside DPS, in Kaufman Hall. Walk across the parking lot to DPS and you’ll pass right by the bikes. Enter through the white doors and you’ll see the DPS dispatch window, where you can talk to an officer who will guide you through the short and easy process of borrowing a Dickinson Red Bike.

Q: Do I need anything to borrow a Dickinson Red Bike?
A: Yes. You need your Dickinson ID or driver’s license, which you will have to leave with DPS until you return the bike, helmet if you received one, and lock. All bikers must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Other than that, you’re set! Just be sure to wear the right shoes (avoid sandals) and clothes in order to enjoy a safe ride.

Q: Do I have to pay to take out a bike?
A: Nope! No deposit whatsoever, only your promise to take care of the bike as you would your own! No cash needed. These bikes were purchased with a generous donation from an alumni (and we are very thankful). We want this service to remain free, so please care for our bikes as if they were your own.

Q: What are the rules for riding a Red Bike?
A: As any regular biker, you must follow all Rules of the Road. This includes obeying all the same traffic laws as cars: follow traffic lights, signal when you are turning, be polite, and be aware. Ride on the right side of the road and do not ride on the sidewalk. If you’d like more information on how to ride safely, check out the Center for Sustainability Education’s Biking at Dickinson publication, also available by DPS, in CSE, and in the Handlebar. Enjoy the Carlisle Road Diet on Hanover and High Street and stick to the biking lanes.

Q What kinds of bikes are available? Can I choose which one I’d like to ride?
A:  There are three models/sizes of Dickinson Red Bikes, that provide sizing in Small (4’8″-5’6″), Medium (5’3″-5’8″) and Large (5’7″-6’2″) frames. Images and bike sizing are available at the DPS dispatch window to help you match height to the correct bike size. On your way in, if you see a bike you’d like to take out, remember the number and tell the DPS officer.

Q: What if I need a bike for an extended period of time? Can I keep one overnight or for the semester?
A: Unfortunately, no. Dickinson Red Bikes are only available for one day use, and not after dark. If you are looking to rent out a bike for a longer period of time, say a whole semester, you should check out the Green Bikes program, an initiative through the Center for Sustainability Education and The Handlebar.

Have more questions about the Red Bikes program. Though the program is supported by the Center for Sustainability Education and checkout is managed by the Department of Public Safety. CSE will be happy to answer questions if you e-mail