The Macon Bike Share program, launched late last summer, is rolling along, gaining riders month by month.
More people are renting bikes every month, said Valerie Bradley, vice president of communications for the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Last year, the CVB was awarded $88,170 to provide bike-share services in downtown Macon through Macon Soul Cycle.
The program has a total of 21 bikes, and as of late May, more than 2,100 trips had been taken on the bikes, with 719 active members. Fifty-six percent of the members are repeat riders, according to CVB statistics.
March was the busiest month of ridership so far.
“I’d like to credit that to the Cherry Blossom Festival,” said Steven Fulbright, the CVB’s director of tourism.
Visitors and residents of Macon alike can rent and return the bikes at the Washington Memorial Library, the Tubman Museum and the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
The Ocmulgee location is the busiest, with 58 percent of the ridership, followed by the Tubman Museum, with about 35 percent.
There have been no mishaps or bike thefts. At each station, there are docks to keep the bikes secured when they aren’t being used.
“The contract with Zagster, the company that owns the bikes, comes with maintenance for the bikes,” Fulbright said.
The bicycles are white cruisers with eight gears, automatic lights, a bell and a front basket, according to Zagster.com
The grant was a part of the Downtown Challenge, which awarded more than $500,000 for different initiatives in the first round. The grants, given by The Peyton Anderson and John S. and James L. Knight foundations, are intended to fund ideas to improve the downtown area.
The CVB wants to encourage people to use the bikes to explore downtown and the Ocmulgee Trail.
Bikes are free for the first hour and $3 for each following hour. You pay for the bikes using the app Zagster. Once you enter your credit or debit card number, the app provides you with a code to enter to get the bike. You must be at least 18 years old to rent a bike, although those younger than 18 can use them. The maximum amount per day is $30.
Last September, Macon hosted the largest pop-up bike lane network in the world. Fulbright said the CVB plans to offer similar events in the coming year.
“We plan on partnering with other organizations in the community to utilize the bikes shares and bicycle grid,” he said.
For now, there are no plans to expand the number of drop-off or pick-up locations for the bikes.
The Macon Bike Share program has a total of 21 bikes at three locations, including the Tubman Museum.
The Macon Bike Share program has a total of 21 bikes at three locations, including the Tubman Museum. firstname.lastname@example.org Jayla Moody
Publication: Macon Telegraph
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