Bike sharing is a proven alternative to fossil fuel emissions that has gained traction in many cities worldwide. Gettting people on bikes helps reduce traffic jams, decreases crowding on public transportation and cuts down on parking shortages. However, for private property owners interested in setting up a bike-share, the options have been limited to buying a bike fleet or working with a local bike shop, which is not practical on a national scale. Now, Massachusettes-based start up, Zagster, is working to make access to bikes a feasible and affordable building amenity – as common and expected as the in-house gym or cafe.
Zagster has developed a full service, turnkey bike-share solution for college campuses, businesses, hotels or resorts. The company’s system provides customers with bicycles, maintenance, promotional materials, and the software necessary to manage a fleet. Zagster charges a monthly fee based on the number of bicycles installed and property owners can choose if they want to charge for rentals or offer them as a free perk. Zagster’s bicycles are award-winning, unisex commuter bikes made of rustproof aluminum. Each one comes with a basket and a lock box that registered riders can open with a code sent to their phone via text. Using the code, riders can unlock their bike from a station and then lock it up wherever they want while they are using it. By eliminating the need to find a docking station, Zagster’s system gives riders the freedom to run more errands or take longer trips.
Bike rentals start at $9 per day, or riders can pay $30 per month or $50 per year for unlimited rides. Zagster has already installed it’s “bike fleet in a box” at 55 locations, including Yale University and the Hyatt hotel. Fifteen bikes are stationed at University Park, a mixed-use development in Cambridge, MA and the company reports that it is in discussions with the World Bank on the potential use of its system during the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Summer Olympics.