We had a great time at the recent launch of the new Bike Share program in Fort Wayne. It’s a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne, Leadership Fort Wayne and Zagster, Inc.
The Bike Share program includes 25 cruiser bikes that are available at five downtown locations for riders to checkout for on-demand, local trips. Anyone can ride by purchasing a day pass or joining with a monthly or annual membership. Rides for members are free for up to an hour, then $3 per hour after. An annual membership can be purchased for $60 and a monthly membership for $15. Riders join the system using a simple app or text messages; instructions are found at www.zagster.com/fortwayne.
The 2015 Leadership Fort Wayne class with members of Kathryn Gentz, PJ Thuringer, Willie Lipsey, Scott Sproul, Chris Johnson and Jermaine Jackson decided to focus their community service efforts on establishing a bike sharing system in Fort Wayne. Leadership Fort Wayne is a program of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. The group researched the topic, talked with various vendors and had dozens of conversations with community leaders to determine interest in the effort. Their work set the stage for the City to invest in the bike share program operated by Zagster, the leading provider of bike sharing systems across the United States.
The City has committed $45,000 annually in Community Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds for two years to get the Fort Wayne Bike Share program up and running. During those two years, Leadership Fort Wayne team members and City staff will work to get private sponsors to support and grow the bike share system in Fort Wayne.
As part of the Bike Share Fort Wayne launch, Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne, a bicycle advocacy group, is hosting a contest for a free year-long membership. Participants are invited to take a selfie on a bike share bike and post the photo to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the #fwbikeshare by May 31. The photos will be posted in an album on the Bicycle Friendly Facebook and starting June 1, residents can vote for their favorite photo. Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne will choose the winner from the 10 photos with the most likes by June 15. Full details are on the Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne website, www.bffw.org.
Hosting a bike sharing system demonstrates that Fort Wayne is a vibrant, healthy and engaged community. We’re committed to making Fort Wayne a great place to live, visit and work, and the addition of bike sharing is a great way to enhance our quality of life and keep our community moving in the right direction.