How to Build an Award-Winning Bike Share

An award-winning bike share needs more than great bikes. It needs thoughtful planning and keen management to ensure the system has all the resources necessary to thrive in the long run.

Yet building and operating a great program doesn’t need to be intimidating. In fact, it can be broken down into just seven simple steps.

The first step to build an award-winning bike share is the most important — and the most intuitive: Defining why you want bike sharing in the first place. Without a clear vision for bike sharing, programs are prone to aimlessness and failure. With a clear mission, programs can take specific actions toward measurable goals.

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Zagster’s award-winning bike share with Town Center Community Improvement District, in Kennesaw, Georgia, is a perfect case study. The program launched in November 2015 with a mission to not only serve as an affordable form of alternative transportation, but also to provide the community with a healthy recreational opportunity. The community had enormous potential to achieve the latter thanks to the Noonday Creek Trail, a seven-mile multi-use path. So by placing each of three stations conveniently along that trail, Town Center CID saw incredible results.

Despite a modest 20-bike fleet, the program enjoyed thousands of rides in mere months. As a result, in April 2016, the Atlanta Regional Commission honored Town Center CID’s Zagster program with a CREATE Community Award for Technology, hailing it as “the the best thing on two wheels.”

More recently, in August 2016, Zagster launched a program in Evansville, Indiana, that soon earned accolades. Also based around a mission to increase recreation on local trails, Evansville's Upgrade Bike Share this month beat out dozens of other nominees to win a Celebration of Leadership Award.

So what can you do to build an award-winning bike share of your own? You can start by watching a recording of our recent webinar that covers all the basics of building and running a community bike share. More than just a theoretical overview, the presentation includes real-life insight from Zagster’s experience in Georgia, as told by Town Center CID Executive Director Tracy Rathbone.

In under an hour, you’ll have a firm understanding of where to begin and what to consider as you get rolling. And if you have any followup questions, we’re here to help. With a decade of experience, and award-winning bike shares to our credit, Zagster has a proven track record of success.