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OSU Announces Zagster as Bike-Share Partner

Walker Evans Walker Evans OSU Announces Zagster as Bike-Share Partner
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The Ohio State University announced today that it has officially selected Zagster to service the campus with a new bike-share system. Zagster, which also launched a bike-share program at Easton Town Center last summer, will deploy 115 bicycles to 15 stations across the campus this year.

“Our students, and the entire university community, have unique needs and we believe Zagster’s proposal offers the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution,” said Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Ohio State vice provost for Capital Planning and Regional Campuses.

The 15 station locations have not been fully finalized, but Evans-Cowley stated that the University made a suggestion for placements in their RFP based on feedback from students, faculty and staff. (Click the map of suggested stations below to enlarge)

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“The stations will be in the standard locations you’d expect to see them,” she said. “And we have committed to the City of Columbus to work with them to expand the CoGo Bike Share system to the edges of campus to create and nurture a hybrid-system so that the surrounding community can travel to campus.”

Details on what that hybrid system might look like aren’t quite figured out at this point in time, but the openness to connectivity does help to address concerns that have been raised by the community over the fear of having two incompatible systems. When asked if a CoGo bikeshare rider would have the ability to dock at a CoGo station at the edge of campus and transfer easily over to a Zagster bike, Evans-Cowley said that was one possibly.

“Unfortunately, it’s not possible to have one pass for both systems,” she explained. “But we do have the option for day passes so that CoGo members could use a day pass on campus and vice versa. Students will also be able to take Zagster bikes off campus, as each one comes with a standard lock.”

Zagster bikes will available for one hour checkout times on weekdays and three hour checkout times on weekends with a standard membership. Longer use would result in an additional hourly fee. The setup is similar to CoGo, which has a 30 minute checkout timeframe before additional fees are applied.

Memberships for the Zagster system at OSU would be available to OSU students, faculty and staff. Pricing has not been finalized, but Evans-Cowley said that their proposal asked for a membership rate of around $35 per year. A CoGo membership is currently $75 per year.

“While we are disappointed not to have an opportunity to provide a bike share solution that would be more integrated with the greater Columbus community, we wish OSU the best of luck with this project,” stated Heather Bowden, General Manager of CoGo Bike Share.

The program is scheduled to soft-launch this summer with a full rollout expected by the time fall semester begins. In addition to standard commuter bicycles, the system will also feature tandem bikes, cargo bikes, heavy duty bikes, hand cycles and electric-assisted bikes.

“We’ll be the first system to test this flexible model with a variety of bikes, so part of the experiment will to see if there’s wide spread usage of those special bikes based on interest and use,” said Evans-Cowley. “We expect to be able to expand to up to around 170 bikes in the system.”

For more information, visit www.zagster.com.

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