- Bicycle Friendly America
- BFA Awards Database
- Local Resources
Read through these FAQs to learn more about the program and how to apply.
GENERAL BFU FAQS
The Bicycle Friendly University program is a great way to promote an active, sustainable and more livable college campus. Obtaining BFU℠ status will enhance mobility around campus — increasing the amount of biking for transportation, exercise, recreation, and sport. Students and employees are more likely to bike where they are welcomed and accommodated, as it is noticeably safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable. Getting more people on bikes has environmental, economic and health benefits for both students and the institution as a whole. For example, with fewer short-distance car trips made by students, carbon emissions will be lower and congestion relieved. The university will also save money and space on a decreased demand for vehicular parking. The increased bicycle accommodations of a BFU-awarded university will promote a more active community, so students can exercise while getting to class.
GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN BUILDING A BICYCLE FRIENDLY CAMPUS:
- Improve campus connectivity & accessibility
- Increase safety for all transportation modes
- Reduce carbon footprint, pollution and congestion
- Lower health care and parking costs
- Happier and healthier students and staff
- Enhance campus quality of life
- Become a model for the rest of the country
- Attract students and employees who want better transportation options
Perhaps, most importantly, a Bicycle Friendly University designation serves as a positive indication for current and prospective students as well as faculty and staff. This designation reflects a positive environment in which to live, study and work. Bicycles provide a simple solution to many complex problems that institutions face, including issues around mobility, space, health, and economics. The application itself also serves as an educational tool. The process of thoroughly going through the application, answering the questions, and reading the provided resources will be insightful as to the opportunities and possibilities that exist for incorporating bicycles.
A bicycle-friendly campus welcomes bicycling. The best bicycling colleges and universities comprehensively incorporate elements from all Five E's: Equity, Engineering, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation & Planning. It is an environment that welcomes cyclists of all skill levels, to ride safely and comfortably. For example, a Bicycle Friendly University may provide a comprehensive network of bike lanes and paths, an easily accessible bike share program, commuter classes for incoming students and staff, plentiful bike racks or special events to promote biking. The BFU℠ application and BFA℠ Resource page take the variables of location, school type and student population into account by providing a comprehensive guide to creating a welcoming campus.
The Bicycle Friendly America℠ Resources page contains several reports on the benefits of cycling, design guides, case studies and other useful information to aid your application process and bicycle-friendly efforts.
FAQS From BFU Applicants
There is one application cycle per year for the BFU program.
The 2023 BFU Application is now open, and the next submission deadline is August 10, 2023.
Yes, there is a $100 application fee for each application that is submitted.
Discounts are available for the following institutions:
- Existing Bicycle Friendly Universities that are scheduled to renew this year (their last application was 4 years ago).
- Previous BFU applicants that received No Award or Honorable Mention on their most recent application.
- Insititutions that are a current Affiliate/organizational Member of the League, and maintain their membership for the full 4 years of their BFU designation.
- HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions.
- All-Women's Colleges.
- Community Colleges.
Please contact [email protected] to learn more if your school is eligible for a discount.
Invoicing is available for schools with Purchase Order systems.
Once your online application is finalized, there will be an option to "add to cart." From there, you will be prompted for payment before you can submit the application. You will be able to select whether you want to pay by credit card or request an invoice to pay by check or purchase order. Payment is due within 30 days of the application submission deadline.
Any university, college, community college or other institution of higher education with a physical campus is eligible to apply for the BFU℠ program. Your bicycle, sustainability, or transportation program manager should review the application and resources. University administration should work alongside campus bicycling groups to complete the form. BFU staff are available to answer questions about eligibility, the application process and best practices.
Visit the Getting Started page to learn more about the application process.
To complete the most comprehensive application, the applicant should be aware of all aspects of the university’s bicycle-related activities and efforts. We encourage the applicant to consult bicycling students and staff to help advise on the campus’s true environment for cycling.
Please be certain that the leaders of the college or university are consulted before applying.
New and renewing applicants fill out the same application form. However, renewing/returning applicants whose most recent application was in 2016 or later can now simplify the application process by duplicating their previous submission answers into the current online form. Learn more here.
Applications that are not submitted by the application deadline will be automatically transferred to the next year's application. Please note that any questions that were changed or added may not transfer data correctly, so it is important to double-check all of your answers before submitting an application that was started in a previous round.
Applicants that just fall short of a designation receive an Honorable Mention. Universities that receive an Honorable Mention are being promoted on the League website for one year. However, they do not receive a certificate, seal or award. The names of applicants that do not receive any recognition are not published. All applicants that do not achieve Bicycle Friendly status still receive a detailed feedback report that can be used to work towards a designation next time the campus applies.
The BFU designation is given on a four-year basis, after which time the university must reapply to maintain or improve their status. Universities that do not maintain their cycling environment over the years may also lose their BFU status.
Any university, college, community college or other institution of higher education with a physical campus is eligible to apply for the BFU program. Your bicycle, sustainability, or transportation program manager should review the application and resources. University administration should work alongside campus bicycling groups to complete the form. BFU staff are available to answer questions about eligibility, the application process and best practices.
An important part of the BFU designation is the official presentation of the award to the college or university. The following steps are usually involved in setting up an award ceremony:
- Choose a date and location.
- The League will identify a representative to present the award – the representative may be a League staff person or board member, the head of a local club, a member of the bike industry, or another appropriate person. If you have a preference, please let the League staff know. The League will provide talking points for the presentation.
- The League can assist you in developing a press release for your business announcing the award ceremony. Most universities use their communications department to distribute the press release.
FAQS From Residents And Advocates
- The BFC, BFB, BFU, and BFS programs are described in one booklet.
- The digital BFA Booklet is designed to give advocates, elected officials, business leaders, students, and university administrators a comprehensive look at the BFA programs. A visual and written tour of the four programs, the small booklet also includes a brief self-assessment tool to evaluate the bicycle-friendliness of your community, business, or university.
- The booklet is available for download and print. Print your desired quantities and place a local organization sticker on the back of the booklet.
- Promoting the BFA programs on your website is a terrific way of highlighting the success stories in your area (i.e. awarded businesses, communities, and universities). Using your website as a connector for all your local or regional BFA awardees makes for a more robust bicycle-friendly network.
- Use this guide and download the logos here.
- Hosting a BFA presentation is a cost-effective and efficient way of distributing information about any of the four programs. This could be done onsite or through a webinar by a local advocate, League staff, or both. Organization of a BFA presentation is easy and is a great way to bring together various local partners and build momentum. Download an overview of the BFA program or a presentation specific to BFB, BFC, or BFU below or request a copy in PowerPoint format, email [email protected]. The presentations are each about 10-15 minutes in length with the script and can be presented at your convenience.
- BFA Overview Slides and Script (updated 10/6/20)
- BFU Slides and Script
- Organize a webinar for your region with a League representative by contacting [email protected].
- Application Preview in PDF - 2023 version
- BFU General Scoring Guidelines (PDF)