Director, Market Management
In this week’s newsletter, I’ll update you on our amazing community partners in Roanoke (VA), Bend (OR), Albuquerque (NM), and Superior (WI). We’ll also delve into some of the economic benefits of biking, how e-scooters can eliminate car trips, and efforts in Cobb County, Georgia to develop a regional bike share to serve residents. So let’s get rolling!
News from Our Communities
Bend, Oregon. The New York Times has finally discovered something Zagster has known for years: the mountain town of Bend, Oregon is one of this country’s most magnificent places. What makes Bend unique are its two dozen breweries (it’s craft beer heaven), its breathtaking natural scenery, its fishing and river rafting, and its laid-back, outdoorsy lifestyle. In describing Bend, the NY Times article highlights our amazing OSU Cascades bike share, recommending that readers “work off your breakfast on a Zagster bike share bike . . . Take a spin along the (partially) paved Deschutes River Trail or through the Drake Park Historic District.” As much as we love seeing our friends in Bend getting attention from Big City newspapers, we also recognize they’ve built an amazing community without seeking much attention. Many Bend residents drive around with a bumper sticker that sums up how truly beloved Bend is: “Bend Sucks, Don’t Move Here.” Well, the secret’s out -- Bend is glorious (especially when seen on two wheels)!
Albuquerque, NM. ABQ just went multi-modal, adding Spin e-scooters to its existing bike share, as we reported in last week’s newsletter. The usage numbers from just the first week of the ABQ scooter launch, with 350 scooters in 22 locations, are simply amazing. We’ve had more than 7,000 scooter rides since the launch, with more than 6,000 new scooter riders. We can hardly wait to see what these scooter usage numbers will look like once we’ve deployed all 750 Spin scooters in ABQ by the end of June! We love operating multi-modal micro-mobility, because it best serves different users and multiple use cases in a more comprehensive solution for our community partners.
Superior, Wisconsin. Saturday, June 8th will see the season launch of our Zagster bike share in this Wisconsin town that’s living up to its lofty name. From 11am to 1pm, Superior Mayor Jim Paine will lead a Zagster community bike ride to Thirsty Pagan Brewing for lunch, a keynote speaker, and the official kickoff of Superior's Active Transportation Plan. This fun event is free, but lunch will be $5 per person and $20 per family. For more details, see the community calendar in the Superior Telegram, and scroll down to Saturday. Biking to a brewery with the Mayor for a lunch celebrating a launch sounds like a “Superior” Saturday to us (sorry, couldn’t help the pun)!
Roanoke, Virginia. Southwest Virginia is a gorgeous place, and the good folks at RIDE Solutions are helping keep it that way. The mission of this community-based organization is to “provide alternate transportation options,” getting residents beyond “the single-occupancy vehicle” (with all its problems). Collaborating with Zagster, the City of Roanoke’s Arts Commission, and Roanoke Public Libraries, RIDE Solutions held an “Art by Bike” program for National Bike Month. On May 31, everyone came together to unveil 15 Zagster bicycles whose baskets had been replaced with 15 unique art baskets created by talented Roanoke City students. “Having a bikeshare system expresses something about our values as a community,” said RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes, “We value our outdoors, we value active transportation and health, we value human-powered modes of transportation” and we value “our arts and cultural amenities.” The bike baskets are so amazing (see photos)!
Other Micro-Mobility News
Can e-scooters replace car trips? It's an important question in micro-mobility, and a recent Techradar post, Could You Replace Your Car With an E-Scooter?, seeks answers. Of course, the e-scooter vs car question depends on the length of your trip, the time you have, the amount of money you want to spend (a scooter share membership is much, much cheaper than buying a car), what you're taking with you, and more. The article makes it clear however that, for many people and many trips, an e-scooter is a much better option: "So could a shared e-scooter replace your car? Potentially, if you live in a city . . . in an area with reliable public transport for longer journeys, you’re physically capable of riding, and you don’t mind getting damp occasionally."
We enjoyed this article from Richmond (VA) Style Weekly. It brilliantly describes the impact biking can have on local economies and businesses, while enhancing a place’s livability and quality of life. Writer Laura Ingles does a stellar job telling multiple personal stories about the many ways people in Virginia’s capital city enjoy biking, whether to exercise or spend time as a family or access amazing restaurants. Ingles clearly “gets” the beauty of biking too: “a winding portion of the Virginia Capital Trail turns a bend. There, among a stretch of rolling hills, the cityscape suddenly appears in the distance. It's a scenic, poignant reminder that city and nature co-exist in synchronicity. And if you're wrapping up an hours-long bike ride, it's a welcome indication that you're almost home.” Must-reading for bike lovers!!
When municipalities and county governments work together to develop regional micro-mobility solutions to better serve communities, everybody wins. We have, for example, the regional Minuteman Bike Share in Massachusetts. We could soon be seeing a regional bike share in Cobb County (GA). According to the Marietta Daily Journal, Cobb County is proposing a code to allow bike sharing to exist at both municipal and county levels. As quoted in the MDJ article, Cobb County Chairman Mike Boyce referenced the county’s “expanding network of trails and the associated Zagster bike rentals for riding on 60-plus miles of trails from Kennesaw to the Chattahoochee River.” Zagster has multiple partners in the Atlanta metro area, and would welcome a regional approach to delivering micro-mobility in Cobb County. We’ll keep you updated . . .
Thanks for riding along, and have yourself a great weekend!