The City of Aurora and Zagster, Inc. today launched a bike-share program that will provide Aurora’s residents and visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town. The launch comes one month after the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly built protected bike lanes in Aurora that closed the last major gap in the 38-mile-long Fox River Trail — a trail now perfectly suited to users of the new bike share.
Starting today, 18 cruiser bikes will be available at three stations for riders to use for on-demand, local trips. All three stations are located just off the Fox River Trail, making it easier than ever for everyone to explore the scenic route and see Aurora from a picturesque perspective.
Riders join the program by signing up for daily, monthly or seasonal passes. Rides for members — who must be 18 or older — are free for the first hour, and then just one dollar per hour after that.
“We are excited about this partnership with Zagster, Inc. that will benefit the Aurora community,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “Aurora aims to be a bicycle friendly community and we take another step — or ride — in that direction through this Bike Share Program. Bike sharing will create new opportunities for bicyclists, families and every resident to experience Aurora from a different vantage point and see Aurora in a whole new light.”
Zagster’s model ensured a swift program launch, with the system going live one month after Aurora and Zagster finalized a contract. Zagster’s unique approach to public-private partnerships will also enable the City of Aurora to add local sponsors to grow the program in a scalable and cost-effective way to meet increased demand and expand service.
“According to the People for Bike’s national survey, 53 percent of Americans say they want to ride more, yet 48 percent say they don’t have access to a working bike,” said Tim Ericson, Zagster co-founder and CEO. “Thanks to Aurora’s investment not only in bike trails but also bike sharing, residents and visitors will now have the ability to get out and ride.”
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.
Riding Aurora’s bike share is easy. Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App — available for iPhone and Android — or online at zagster.com/Aurora-IL. 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.
Aurora’s bike share 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. All Spoked Up, a bike shop in downtown Aurora, will perform routine maintenance and repairs on all the system’s bikes.