FORT WAYNE, IN--(Marketwired - Apr 15, 2016) - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today launched the city's first bike-share program in partnership with Leadership Fort Wayne and Zagster, Inc.
The new program includes 25 cruiser bikes available at five downtown locations for riders to check out for on-demand, local trips (map attached). Anyone can ride by purchasing a day pass or by joining with a monthly or annual membership. Rides for members are free for up to an hour, then three dollars per hour after that. An annual membership costs $60, while a monthly membership costs $15.
"Hosting a bike-sharing system demonstrates that Fort Wayne is a vibrant, healthy and engaged community," said Mayor Henry. "We're committed to making Fort Wayne a great place to live, visit and work, and the addition of bike sharing is a great way to enhance our quality of life and keep our community moving in the right direction."
The 2015 Leadership Fort Wayne class -- members Kathryn Gentz, PJ Thuringer, Willie Lipsey, Scott Sproul, Chris Johnson and Jermaine Jackson -- initiated the program by researching the topic, speaking with various vendors and conversing with community leaders to gauge interest in bike sharing. As a result of those efforts, the city opted to partner with Zagster, the leading provider of bike-sharing systems across the United States.
"Zagster allows mid-sized cities like Fort Wayne the opportunity to have the amenities of major metropolitan areas without the cost and complexity of bigger systems like those in Chicago and New York," said Kathryn Gentz, Leadership Fort Wayne team member. "We are excited to help bring bike sharing to Fort Wayne and look forward to seeing the system grow."
The city has committed $45,000 annually in Community Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds for two years to get the Fort Wayne Bike Share program up and running. During those two years, Leadership Fort Wayne team members, city staff and Zagster will work to get private sponsors to support and grow the bike-share system in Fort Wayne.
Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster's programs give users the freedom to ride as long as they want, wherever they want. And because Zagster manages all aspects of its programs -- from bikes and technology, to maintenance and marketing -- Zagster partners can confidently deploy scalable bike-share systems that best suit their communities.
"Fort Wayne's confidence in Zagster is indicative of our company's expertise in crafting tailored, cost-effective systems that bring the benefits of bike sharing to communities of all types and sizes," said Timothy Ericson, Zagster co-founder and CEO. "We look forward to seeing what great heights our bike-share partnership can reach in the Summit City."
Riding Fort Wayne's bike share is easy. Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App -- available for iPhone and Android -- or online at zagster.com/fortwayne. Each bike has a unique number which riders enter into the app to obtain a single-use code to open the lockbox on the back of the bike. (Alternatively, riders can obtain the unlock code via text message.) A key in the lockbox allows the bike to be locked and unlocked throughout a ride. After the rider returns the bike to a designated Zagster bike station, the rental ends and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy.
The Bike Share Fort Wayne features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike's spacious basket is perfect for carrying groceries, takeout or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell and full reflectors.
As part of the Bike Share Fort Wayne launch, Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne, a bicycle advocacy group, is hosting a contest for a free year-long membership. Participants are invited to take a selfie on a bike share bike and post the photo on Bicycle Friendly's Facebook page or tag them on Twitter or Instagram. The photo with the most likes on the Bicycle Friendly Facebook album by the end of May will receive the free membership.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the largest and fastest-growing bike-share provider in the United States. Zagster works directly with over 130 communities across North America to make scalable bike-sharing programs available in areas where traditional bike share providers can't reach. The company's goal: To make the bike the most loved form of transportation.
More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at www.zagster.com.