Montco launches bike share program for trails
The Montgomery County Commissioners today, in conjunction with Zagster, a leading provider of bikes-as-a-service, launched a pilot bike share program for its trail system.
The initial two docking stations and rental locations are located in Lower Perkiomen Valley Park in Oaks, and at the head of the Pennypack Trail, just off Huntingdon Pike in Lower Moreland.
“This is another exciting step in enhancing the enjoyment of our county parks, trails and historic sites,” said Josh Shapiro, chair of the county commissioners. “We believe this pilot program, which hopefully will grow in coming years, will help to make our trails an even more attractive and utilized asset to our wonderful quality of life in Montgomery County.”
The Zagster docking station in Oaks is strategically located on the Perkiomen Trail near the intersections with the Schuylkill River Trail and the Chester Valley Trail. The Huntingdon Valley location is in one of the most highly populated sections of the county on the newly extended Pennypack Trail.
Shapiro was joined at the bike share launch by fellow commissioner Valerie Arkoosh and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., and all three used the bikes to take a short ride on the trail.
“This program will give those without bicycles, or those who might decide on the spur of the moment to ride, an opportunity to enjoy our 60 miles of trails throughout the county,” Arkoosh said.
“We currently have 10 additional miles of trails under design or construction in the county, so this program is being launched at exactly the right time,” Castor said.
There are a total of 12 bikes in the county program – six at each location. They are available for use by the hour or the day through Zagster’s mobile app or via text.
“Increasingly, cities and counties of all sizes are looking to bike sharing to not only address congestion, but also to give residents and visitors a fun, convenient and healthy way to get around,” said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. “Our turnkey, low-cost model is perfect for these cities that want to increase access to bikes, without the cost and complexity of large, citywide bike sharing systems or managing the system themselves.”
Montgomery County’s Zagster program features the Breezer Uptown, an award-winning bike known for its lightweight, yet durable construction, specifically designed for city and paved-trail riding. All bikes come with spacious baskets perfect for carrying personal belongings and the Zagster bike lock, which allows riders to securely park their bikes wherever they want, allowing the ultimate in convenience.
Riders can join the bike share program by downloading the Zagster Mobile App, available for iPhone and Android, or online at www.zagster.com/montcopa. To use the Mobile App, riders simply enter the unique ID of the bike they wish to use and an access code for the lock box is provided. Alternatively, they can text the bike ID and receive the code in return. Riders can use the code throughout the duration of their rental to lock and unlock the bike anywhere along their trip. Once the bike is returned to a Zagster location, the touch of a button ends the rental and releases the bike for the next rider. Rates are $5 per hour or $25 per day (up to 24 hours).
Founded in Philadelphia in 2007 as CityRyde and now headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the leading provider of private and public-private bike sharing systems. Zagster is uniquely focused on contracting with property managers, hotels, businesses, universities and smaller cities across North America to make bike
sharing programs available to tenants, employees, guests, students and residents. This highly efficient and unique model allows Zagster to offer services in areas that traditional city-wide bike sharing systems can’t reach. More information about Zagster is available at Zagster.com.
Montgomery County has over 60 miles of trails throughout the county with an additional 10 miles in design or under construction. An estimated 800,000 people use the Schuylkill River Trail each year, with another 400,000 using the Perkiomen Trail. In the next two years, improvements or extensions are planned for the Schuylkill River Trail, Chester Valley Trail, Pennypack Trail, Wissahickon Trail Connector, Cross County Trail, the Norristown Trail Center and the Sunrise Trail.