New technology makes bike share even easier
It just got easier than ever to join, ride and enjoy the Carmel Bike Share program with the debut of a new mobile app and locking system that lets riders rent and ride bikes at the touch of a button on their phones. A sleek new interface on the mobile app streamlines the process of creating a new account and offers easy access to rider support, while new mapping technology provides point-by-point directions to the nearest docking station.
Developed by Carmel’s Bike Share provider, Zagster, the new technology platform is the first of its kind in the U.S. bike share industry — and Carmel is one of the first programs in the nation to offer it to riders.
“Carmel is proud to partner with Zagster to offer the newest technology to our community. With more than 188 miles of multi-use paths and trails, we have always placed a high value on transportation alternatives for both residents and visitors,” said Mayor Jim Brainard. “Growing our Carmel Bike Share program supports our efforts to continue being a bicycle-friendly community.”
Now, with just the single touch of a button in the new Zagster app, riders can control a Bluetooth-enabled locking system that features two points of security. A new locking mechanism allows riders to tether bikes to non-Zagster stations for mid-ride stops. It’s important to note that riders will need to return their bikes to a Zagster station to end their trip.
This unique hybrid model, which blends dockless locking for mid-trip stops with fixed station locations for beginning and ending rides, is key because it allows Carmel’s riders to plan their trips around their destinations — and not just around station locations. And because the locking system has no detachable pieces that could be misplaced or misused, the new user experience is versatile, convenient and hassle-free.
“Our riders wanted the ability to make several stops along their way more easily and lock their bike without having to be at a share station. Zagster worked to accommodate them based on feedback and we’re pleased they were able to do so,” said Brainard. “The idea is to make the ride as convenient as possible to reduce any barrier the rider may have.”
The Carmel Bike Share features 90 bikes at 11 locations for users to make local, on-demand trips. Riders can join the program by signing up for monthly or annual memberships. Rides for the first hour are free, and then just three dollars per hour after that for memberships. Daily and hourly rates are also available. For more information, including a map of locations and a registration form can be found at zagster.com/carmel.
Zagster was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the largest and fastest-growing bike-share provider in the United States. Zagster works directly with more than 150 communities in more than 30 states across North America to make bike sharing available in areas where traditional bike-share providers can't reach. 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 — Zagster partners can create and deploy scalable bike-share systems that best suit their needs and work within their budgets.