Bike Sharing Launches in Rochester

Mayor Lovely A. Warren and Zagster, the City’s new bike share provider, launched Rochester’s bike share program today, a new transportation option that will provide residents and visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around the city.

“Bike sharing is good for the environment, helps our residents connect to jobs and commercial districts and is good for our health,” said Mayor Warren. “It’s the kind of transportation option that people expect to see in a city our size, and makes Rochester a more attractive place to live, work and visit. For all these reasons and more, bike sharing is an important component in our efforts to create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

“In the U.S., more than half of all trips taken are less than three miles, perfect for riding a bike,” said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. “Yet, nationally, half of Americans report that they don’t have access to a working bike. Zagster’s public-private partnership with the City of Rochester solves that access problem, and offers people in Rochester a great new way to get around the city.”

Bikeshare programs are quickly becoming recognized as an expected mobility option in American cities, complementing other transportation services and resulting in reduced car usage, increased rates of transit use, lower parking demand, increased retail sales for small businesses and improved public health. The Public Bikeshare System will also draw more visitors and help visitors travel between attractions.

Zagster, a national bike share provider, will own, operate and maintain the Public Bikeshare System.

A total of 340 Zagster shared bikes will be available for riders to make on-demand, local trips. Riders — who must be 18 or older — can pick up and drop off bikes at any of the 46 Zagster stations located throughout the city, or at any of the City’s hundreds of public bike racks.

The program is supported by state and federal grants, and by a community partnership that includes funding from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Reconnect Rochester, Regional Transit Service (RTS), Winn Development, Five Star Bank, 3 City Center, MVP Healthcare, the University of Rochester, City Gate, The Red Fern, The Little/WXXI, BASWA, Home Leasing, and Conifer.

Riders can view stations and nearby bikes in the free Zagster app, available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. One tap in the app automatically unlocks the ring lock on the rear wheel, allowing a rider to get rolling in seconds. While most bike share programs charge steep membership fees and require riders to pay for each ride, there is no up-front cost to use the program. Rides cost just $1 per half hour. A $1 fee applies to rides ending at public bike racks; there is no fee to end rides at Zagster stations.

Zagster blends the structure and order of fixed stations with the flexibility to start and end rides at any public bike rack — a model that best serves the needs of both the City and its residents. Additionally, this low-cost, hybrid model enables more bikes to be deployed across the city, resulting in more convenience and more riders, expanding the benefits of bike sharing.

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