By Matt Holzapfel
The Student Government Association at Elon University has teamed up with the bike sharing company Zagster to bring a new bike rental service to campus. Students will be able to rent and ride a bike for up to 11 hours at a time. Junior class President Rachel Hobbs was the one spearheading the initiative and working with Zagster to get the program off the ground and make it a reality.
Where did the idea come from?
What is Elon’s relationship with Zagster?
Zagster has worked with many college campuses to implement bike rental systems, according to Hobbs. “They provide all the services related to installation and maintenance.” Since this just a preliminary test to see how well the program works on Elon’s campus, there will only be two stations for renting and returning Zagster bikes for now. One will be located outside of Danieley Commons, the other in the Lakeside Plaza. “They (Zagster) will also be able to help us assess the success of the pilot and determine if the program should be expanded.”
How does it work? Can anyone use this program?
There are extensive details and step-by-step instructions on Zagster’s Elon website, but the actual process of renting, using, and returning the bike is pretty simple. First, the bike-rental program is open to anyone at Elon University with a valid Elon email address. If you have a valid email address, you then have to download the Zagster app which available from the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Once you have the app you select Join and you can create an account using your Elon email. After that, you enter your zip code or the name of the Zagster program you want to use, in this case, “Elon” and you’re in. Once you’re at the desired bike station, you enter your four digit bike number, which can be found on you selected bike, into the app and select start ride. This will give you an unlock code specifically for the bike that you selected. Once you have put that code into the keypad on the back of the bike, press Enter and the compartment on the back of the bike will open, displaying a key inside. This key can be used to lock and unlock the padlock on your bike when you want to start or stop riding it. Then you can remove your bike from the docking station and ride it safely wherever you please. When you are finished with your ride, return your bike to the nearest docking station and input the same code from before into the lockbox on the bike to get your key. Lock the bike back into the dock, return the key to the bike’s lockbox, and click “End Ride” in your Zagster app. You will then get your trip summary and the amount that you owe for your ride. No worries, however, as the first three hours of your trip are always free! After that, you just pay $3/hour for up to eight more hours.