COLLEGE PARK, Md. (May 4, 2016) — College Park, the University of Maryland and Zagster, Inc. today launched mBike, a bike-share program for students, faculty, staff, residents and visitors. With 120 cruiser bikes and five accessible bikes at 14 stations, including both Metro stations, mBike offers a convenient, affordable and healthy way for people to get on, off and around campus and the city.
Riders join the program by signing up for daily, monthly, six-month, or annual passes. Rides for members are free for the first hour, and then three dollars per hour after that. Though the plan originally called for installing 100 bikes, the initial launch was increased due to increased demand, and the city hopes to ultimately grow the program into a regional network.
“We’re moving College Park forward by providing easy access to biking and its many benefits,” said College Park Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn. “mBike fills gaps in our current transportation system, giving people an easy way to get to and from the Metro, as well as around campus, all without increasing cars on the roads.”
College Park Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn, University of Maryland Vice President of Student Affairs Linda Clement and Zagster CEO Tim Ericson will formally debut the program at a special ribbon cutting ceremony to be held at 3 p.m. at the Adele Stamp Student Union building. An inaugural ride with the mayor will follow the event.
The program was funded in part by a $375,000 state grant and through a unique partnership between the City of College Park and the University of Maryland.
“Biking is a healthy and enjoyable way for students, faculty, staff and community members to travel around campus and throughout the City of College Park,” said Linda Clement, Vice President of Student Affairs at UMD. “mBike will give our community easier access to all areas of campus, as well as local businesses and mass transit, all while improving traffic on campus.”
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 — the city and the University are free to focus on their other priorities.
“The partnership between College Park and the University of Maryland is an ideal model for how multiple stakeholders in a local community can come together to fully realize the mutual benefits of bike sharing,” said Tim Ericson, Zagster co-founder and CEO. “They are showing that it’s possible to have big city amenities in a college town.”
Riding mBike is easy. Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App — available for iPhone and Android — or online at zagster.com/mbike. 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.
The mBike program features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike 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.
About Zagster Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the largest and fastest-growing bike share provider in the United States. Zagster works directly with over 130 communities across North America to make scalable bike-sharing programs available in areas where traditional bike share providers can't reach. 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 College Park Situated just minutes from the nation’s capital, the City of College Park is home to the University of Maryland and a wide variety of shops, restaurants, attractions and recreational opportunities. The City is comprised of over 30,000 residents that reside in diverse settings from quaint neighborhoods to luxury student housing complexes. With abundant transit options, beautiful parks and historic homes, College Park is certainly “A Smart Place to Live.” Media contacts Zagster John Williams, Scoville PR for Zagster 206-625-0075, firstname.lastname@example.org
City of College Park Steve Beavers, Community Development Coordinator 240-487-3541, email@example.com
University of Maryland Kristen Seabolt, Communications Coordinator 301-405-4621, firstname.lastname@example.org