With completion of the first phase of Wausau’s East Riverfront Development project and the River’s Edge Trail, city leaders are considering bringing in a bike share program.
The city’s bicycle/pedestrian committee recently listened to a proposal from Zagster, a Boston-based bike share program. The program costs $1,800 per bike per year, and Zagster handles all the maintenance, management and promotion, says Zagster rep Michael Sheppard.
The company is making a huge push in Wisconsin to launch its bike share service through the state next year, Sheppard says. Zagster is not yet operating in Wisconsin, but Sheppard planned to stop at 10 different cities to promote the program on his trip.
The program is ideal for smaller cities and universities, Sheppard says, because it can be tailored to the right size. If a community starts with 25 bikes and demand increases, more bikes could be added; if less demand, they can be decreased. The bikes operate through a smartphone app riders use to pay for and unlock their bikes to use.
City Planner Brad Lenz says a bike share program is something Wausau leaders are hoping to pair with the completion of the River’s Edge Trail, which will be about two miles when completed this winter. Sheppard says bikes for tourism seem to be the most common use. Even cities that started bike share programs intending to serve commuters see most use coming from tourists.