City launches bike-share program in downtown Fort Wayne

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Biking in downtown Fort Wayne just got easier.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry was proud to launch the city’s first bike-share program Friday saying,

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry stands with one of the city's new bicycles in its new bike-share program.

“Hosting a bike sharing system demonstrates that Fort Wayne is a vibrant, healthy and engaged community,” said Mayor Henry. “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.”

Fort Wayne’s program includes 25 cruiser bikes available at five downtown locations: Arts Campus, Citilink Station, Grand Wayne Center, Wayne and Calhoun Streets and St. Francis’ downtown campus.Click here to see a map of the stations. 

Bike sharing system company Zagster, Inc. operates the program. Users download the Zagster app to pay and check out the bike. For those who don’t have a smart phone, there’s also a text messaging option. Zagster charges $3 per hour, up to $30 each ride. Annual and monthly memberships offer the first hour of biking for free. The annual membership can be purchased for $60 and a monthly membership costs $15.

Graphic from Zagster, Inc. that outlines instructions on how its bike sharing program works.

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Fort Wayne’s bike sharing program is the result of the city’s partnership with Leadership Fort Wayne. Members researched the topic and worked with community leaders to determine what kind of interest people would have in a ride sharing program.

Over the next two years, the Leadership Fort Wayne members and city staff will work to get private sponsors to support and grow the bike share system. Meanwhile, the city has committed $45,000 annually to get the program up and running. That capital comes from the Community Economic Development Income Tax funds.

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.

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