Choosing locations for your bike share can seem complicated. You need to factor in how the bikes will be used, ease of finding the station, access to surrounding spaces for other uses, and local building codes, all while maintaining your property’s aesthetic. But even though no two properties are the same and each will face unique challenges, the choice is simple enough as long as you remember the goal of the project:
You’re making an investment in a bike share program, and it can provide a variety of significant benefits to your organization – but not if your bikes just sit there unused. Here are Zagster’s six key words to choosing bike share stations that get your money’s worth:
Visibility – A bike share station should be visible. It doesn't need to be on public display, but it should be in a high-traffic area where potential riders can find it easily. Signs and flyers are good, but nothing advertises better than the station itself simply being seen.
Usage – Where are people likely to ride bikes? It’s a simple formula: Put stations where people will want to use them. Got a nice cycling route that runs right along one side of your property? Put a station on that side so people can get on their bikes and go. Being near public transportation is a big plus, too. And, of course, make sure your stations can be easily accessed by bike – meaning no stairs or elevators required.
Safety – If your station is in an area where crime is a concern, riders need to feel comfortable visiting even at off hours. The station should be clean, well-lighted, and visible to security and/or foot traffic. The goal is to minimize the risk of theft and vandalism while creating a welcoming experience.
Accessibility – Riders need cell service to operate Zagster’s rental system – if they don't have service, they can't check out bikes. You'll also need a secured outlet or access to sunlight for a solar panel to power our bike-tracking system.
Space – Make sure you've got all the space you need for your target fleet size – and be aware of the location's potential for expansion once you generate increases in ridership. Analyze your potential ridership to determine how many bikes you need (we can help with this!) and be sure that your space will not only fit all your bikes, but also have enough surrounding space to allow freedom of access. That space can absolutely be a shared right-of-way, but it can’t be storage or parking space.
Preservation – Bikes in good condition portray your brand in a positive light; on the flip side, dirty and weather-damaged bikes degrade your image. Bike stations should be protected from rain and snow – particularly against snow piles and splashes from passing traffic. That said, they don't necessarily need to be covered; often, simply being protected from the prevailing wind direction is sufficient.
Trying to find that perfect spot? Talk to Zagster's experts for advice and guidance on choosing your ideal bike share locations.