Evansville officials and representatives from numerous area organizations launched a city-wide bike sharing program today, called Upgrade Bike Share, at a press conference on the University of Evansville campus.
Beginning immediately, 70 cruiser bikes are available at seven stations across Evansville for members to use on demand. Anyone over the age of 18 can ride ad hoc for three dollars per hour, or by enrolling in a monthly or annual membership. Rides for members are free for up to one hour, then three dollars per hour after that.
Locations are as follows: University of Evansville campus, North Main Street, West Franklin Street, Downtown YMCA, Downtown Pagoda at the Evansville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Haynie’s Corner Arts District, and the Deaconess Sports Park on North Green River Road.
Evansville mayor Lloyd Winnecke; University of Evansville president Thomas Kazee; Welborn Baptist CEO and executive director Kevin Bain; and Don Jones, Evansville Area Trails Coalition president and UE’s vice president for marketing and communications addressed the press conference crowd.
In attendance were members of the Changemaker Challenge teams from the University of Evansville, Memorial High School, and Central High School. The Changemaker Challenge is dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs and innovators. The competition, put on by the Institute for Global Enterprise in Indiana at UE, began at the college level with UE students and was opened up to area high schools last year. The teams from Central and Memorial High Schools both proposed a bike sharing project separately and have since worked together on the project.
“The installation and launch of this program marks the culmination of a collaborative effort between an impressive network of individuals committed to the progress of Evansville,” said Winnecke. “High school students, college students, and leaders from city organizations large and small are all on the forefront of making ideas happen, and I continue to be inspired by how great Evansville is and can be.”
The Upgrade Bike Share program is fully funded by local sponsors including Deaconess Health System, St. Mary’s Health System, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, City of Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development, Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Welborn Baptist Foundation, and Meritain Health.
This initial network of seven stations and 70 bikes is expected to grow in the coming years. To become a member or for more information including a map of the stations, please visit http://bike.zagster.com/upgrade.
“Studies have shown that Americans want to bike more, but are held back by lack of access to bikes, and concerns about safe places to ride,” said Timothy Ericson, Zagster co-founder and CEO. “Evansville is addressing both of these concerns with Zagster and the investments the city has made in bike trails and other safe riding places. Now, there’s no reason not to get out and ride.”
Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster’s programs give 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.
Riding Upgrade Bike Share is easy. Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App — available for iPhone and Android — or online at zagster.com/upgrade. Each bike has a unique number which riders enter into the app to obtain a single-use code to open the lockbox on the back of the bike. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message.) A key, stored inside and tethered to the lockbox, allows the bike to be locked and unlocked throughout a ride. 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.
Media contact for Zagster
Jon Terbush, Zagster communications manager
Media Contact for Evansville