HUNTSVILLE, Al. (March 8, 2017) — The City of Huntsville, Downtown Huntsville and Zagster, Inc. today launched Downtown BlueBikes presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, a bike share program that will provide all Huntsville residents and visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town.
Starting today, 40 cruiser bikes will be available at six stations for members to use for on-demand, local trips. Riders can pay by the hour, or join the program by signing up for monthly or annual memberships. Rides for members — who must be 18 or older — are free for the first hour, and then three dollars per hour after that.
“This program offers convenience, and that is great for residents and an added perk for visitors,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “Bicycles make it easy for people to experience the best of Huntsville from the ground up.”
Downtown BlueBikes delivers a full-scale bike share to the entire Huntsville community — all without using any public funds. That unique feature is made possible by a community partnership, facilitated by Downtown Huntsville and Zagster, that includes lead funding from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and supplemental funding from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, Crestwood Medical Center, Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Huntsville Committee of 100, SportsMED and Alabama Colon & Gastro.
"We are committed to helping build healthier communities," said Koko Mackin, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. "Downtown BlueBikes will provide workers, residents and visitors a new and easy way to get around and enjoy the city.”
Downtown BlueBikes represents a milestone for Zagster as the company’s first municipal program in Alabama.
What’s more, the program is one of the first in the nation to receive Zagster’s proprietary new technology platform, which features a Bluetooth-enabled ring lock — the first of its kind in North American bike sharing. By directly integrating the Bluetooth lock with riders’ phones through a forthcoming update to the Zagster app, Zagster bikes will be available at the touch of a button, a key benefit for today’s mobile-first riders. And because there are no detachable pieces that could be misplaced or misused, the platform offers the most streamlined and convenient experience available.
Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster’s programs gives users the freedom to ride as long as they want, wherever they want. And because Zagster manages all aspects of its programs — from bikes and technology, to maintenance and marketing — Zagster partners can create and deploy scalable bike share systems that best suit their communities.
“The new Downtown Huntsville bike share program will provide residents and guests with a fun, healthy and easy way to explore our great city center and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Chad Emerson, President & CEO of Downtown Huntsville.
Riding Downtown BlueBikes is easy. Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App — available for iPhone and Android — or online at zagster.com/downtownhuntsville. Each bike has a unique number which riders use in the app to disengage the ring lock and docking cable. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message to use with an on-bike keypad.) A retractable cable mounted to the bike allows the bike to be secured to any fixed object throughout a trip for mid-ride stops. After the rider returns the bike to a designated Zagster bike station, the rental ends, and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy.
Downtown Blue Bikes features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike also includes a spacious basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell and full reflectors.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the leading provider of private and public-private bike-sharing systems in the United States, operating more than 140 programs in more than 30 states. Its highly efficient business model allows the company to successfully deploy programs in multiple markets, including cities, suburbs, universities, corporate campuses, and commercial and residential properties. The company’s goal: To make the bike the most loved form of transportation.
More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at www.zagster.com
About Downtown Huntsville
Downtown Huntsville, Inc. is responsible for the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville through unique events, interesting promotions, and dynamic new and redeveloped properties.
Media contact for Zagster
Jon Terbush, Zagster communications manager
Media Contact for Downtown Huntsville
Chad Emerson, President & CEO