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Marlborough expands Zagster bike-share program

Marlborough expands Zagster bike-share program

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS — After launching a bike-share program citywide last year, a new station has opened at the Apex Center on Rte. 20.

The two-year pilot with Zagster Inc. of Boston offers access to the bikes for city residents, employees and visitors using an app on a smartphone. There are about 30 bikes available across the six stations.

So far, there have been 977 trips and 464 active users of the program, according to Meredith Harris, executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corp.

“We wanted to see how it would do,” she said of the pilot program. “We are pleased with the results.”

Such bike-share programs are popular in cities across the world, including New York City, Albuquerque and Wichita.

Besides the Apex Center in Marlborough, the stations are located at Assabet River Rail Trail (Sasseville Way), the Walker Building (downtown), Marlborough Hills Office Park, Embassy Suites Hotel (Rte. 20) and RK Centers (Home Depot).

The most popular spots are downtown and the rail trail, which is close by Boston Scientific.

“You can return it to any station, that’s the beauty of it,” Harris said.

Some businesses along Donald Lynch Boulevard near the Solomon Pond Mall are adding private stations.

“It is a great amenity for employees to ride to the mall to get lunch,” she said.

Harris said the Apex Center is a natural fit with a MetroWest Regional Transit Authority’s bus stop and many businesses nearby.

In 2016, the corporation conducted a transportation study, which identified interest by both businesses representatives and residents in alternative transportation options, such as a bike-share.

“We saw it as a good opportunity not only for the business community, but residents well,” Harris said.

The city is looking for alternative ways to reduce traffic and create connectivity, Mayor Arthur Vigeant said in a press release when the program was launched.

“The bike-share program gives residents and visitors an economical, healthy and fun way to get around Marlborough, while also easing congestion in our green city,” he said in the release. “I am confident that this pilot program will be fully embraced by the local community.”

The bikes, known as the “Cruiser,” feature adjustable seat heights for adult riders, automatic front and rear lights, Bluetooth electronic ring lock, fenders and chain guards.

Through the system, bike trips under three hours are free for members, and memberships cost $25 per year, $12 per month and $6 for three days. Single-use rides for non-members are also available at $2 per hour for up to $20 per ride. Riders must be 18 years or older to use the program.

The bikes can also be used to cruise around the city with visitors, who don’t have a bike on hand.

“They love it,” Harris said of the pilot. “It is convenient, easy and a good amenity especially in the summertime.”

This article by Jonathan Phelps originally appeared here.