529 Campus Edition
Did you know over 50% of all college cyclists will lose a bike to theft during their 4 years?
Our university pilot programs are ramping up for biking season. Over the next few weeks, we’re rolling out student and faculty bike registrations programs for 3 new Oregon campuses including the University of Oregon, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, and Reed College.
The 529 Campus Edition makes it easy for students and faculty to register their bikes without creating a mountain of paperwork for campus administration, greatly increases campus security’s ability to return found bikes to students and makes filing detailed theft reports effortless.
“Bike theft is a costly and time-consuming problem on our campus,” says Paula Ellison of the UO Department of Transportation. “The 529 Garage provides a thorough, yet simple registration process for our students and faculty that will save us time, money and avoid costly data entry mistakes while improving our recovery rates.”
We’re excited to be able to help make these Oregon campuses a safer place for bikes.
Have a cycling student? Make sure they register with the 529 Garage and check with their university bike registration recommendations on campus.
529 Website and App Updates
If you’ve logged into the website in the last week, you’ll notice some spiffy new features!
Powerful Search for Stolen Bikes
We’ve completely revamped our stolen bike listings (formerly our Hotsheet). You can now easily search for bikes that were reported stolen by make, model, year, serial number, 529 Shield ID, and color. Just enter each search tag (use a return to separate tags) in the search box, set the map to the area you want to search and press the Search button. You can pan and zoom the map to search just your local area or the whole world, and you can add additional tags to refine your search if there are too many returned results.
Matching bikes can be viewed on the map, or in a list to let you see if you have a match quickly. It works great from your mobile browser as well!
You’ll also notice that in addition to searching 529 Garage stolen bikes, we search through bikes reported stolen on Bike Index so you can view the most comprehensive list of bikes reported stolen.
Why search for stolen bikes? If you are ever buying a used bike, especially from services like eBay or Craigslist, be sure to do a search to make sure it’s legit. And if you’ve had a bike stolen, we now show bikes spotted reports as well.
We only search through bikes reported stolen or spotted, so you never have to worry about potential thieves getting access to information about the bike tucked away in your garage.
See something? Say Something.
Have you found or spotted a bike that you think is stolen, or think you see a theft in progress? Don’t become a vigilante, instead become someone’s hero by reporting what you see. In addition to notifying local law enforcement, you can submit a sighting from the new Search page. Just click the Report It button, and add what information you have, including a photo of the bike you’ve seen.
Sightings show up in our search results with blue pins, so if you’ve lost a bike, be sure to keep an eye on our search results to see if anyone has reported it found!
Register bikes for your friends
Have cycling friends that are too busy to register their bikes, don’t have smartphones or believe “it won’t happen to them”? From the website, just click on Your Garage, and you’ll see a new menu option to Register a Friend. Click Add a Bike, and register your friend’s bike like you would your own, entering their email address along with the bike information. We’ll email them the bike registration information, along with a simple link to sign in and claim their bike and add any more details about their bike that they’d like.
Our iOS App Update
Our iOS app is just hit the App Store. You’ll find both the new search and friend registration features listed above, so be sure to update your app. (and of course, we appreciate ratings and reviews so people that find our app know how much you value it).
Bike Theft Task Force
The city of Portland has commissioned a joint task force between city agencies and community leaders with the goal to reduce theft by 50% in 5 years. It’s an ambitious challenge, but we are honored to have been selected to participate on the Task Force and are working on some exciting plans to help protect Portland cyclists.
More news once the 2015 plan-of-attack is finalized. Hopefully, the learnings from this group can serve as best practices and a template for other cities to follow.
If your community is interested in learning more or staying up-to-date with the Task Force efforts, drop us a line.