Seen those white cruiser bikes with blue signs and baskets rolling around neighborhoods in Rochester? So have I–lots of them! Zagster bike share is off to a strong start in Rochester, according to the update given by Aviva Manin, Rochester Account Director at Zagster, at last Thursday’s Rochester Cycling Alliance meeting. The bike share program was started in Rochester in mid-July as a public-private partnership coordinated by the City, owned and administered by Zagster, and supported by a large number of businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations. Using the program is simple: download the Zagster app to your smartphone, use it to unlock any of the 340 bikes at 46 stations around Rochester, and ride for up to half an hour between stations for $1. Even better, for $1 extra, you can end your ride at any bike rack anywhere in the city–Zagster will pick up the bike later.
Aviva showed up to the RCA meeting with a fat slide deck full of charts and figures showing the fast growth of bike share in Rochester–pretty electrifying for the audience, who are not only bike enthusiasts, but perennial data junkies. I learned a lot. Zagster has 7000 bikes on the ground in 160 cities, but Rochester’s system is their biggest. Already Zagster is expanding beyond the original 46 stations, due to large demand (you can see the current station map). Members have taken more than 6000 rides already, and the Rochester membership is growing steadily at about 800 members per week. Saturday and Sunday are peak days; midday and early evening are peak times. Given the fast growth, Aviva says Zagster is aiming to have 700 bikes in Rochester by spring 2018.
And though the ridership at most bike share programs is 65% male and just 35% female, in Rochester the demographics are 55% male and 45% female. Aviva told us that in surveys, women point to traffic safety concerns as the main issue that keeps them from riding, so the large numbers of women riding Zagster in Rochester is a testament to good, safe bike infrastructure in our city. If you’ve advocated for that bike infrastructure, give yourself a pat on the back–and let’s keep working to make it even better. Not sure how to get involved? Email the RCA! Always excited to have more bikes on the roads, we’re cheering for the success of Zagster and for the great things bikes and alternative transportation bring to our community.