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BikeSmart Program Launches in Canton
By Theresa Gang
Released/Published: Jun 3, 2015

Stark County District Library to host BikeSmart Launch Celebration during First Friday in June

June 1, 2015 (Canton, OH) - Stark County District Library is hosting a BikeSmart Launch Celebration during First Friday on June 5, 2015. In collaboration with Stark Parks and Canton Parks and Recreation, Stark County District Library is launching BikeSmart, Stark County's Bike Share. The idea for BikeSmart came out of a TomTod Dreamoratory session where middle school students devised the concept that Stark County could use a free bike rental system.

After researching the concept, the library, Stark Parks and Canton Parks and Recreation came to the agreement to evenly divide the cost for the project and work with an existing bike share company, Zagster. Six bike hubs, each containing six rental bikes, are being installed throughout Stark County the week of June 1. Bike hubs will be located at the Main Library, Jackson Township Library, Perry Sippo Exploration Gateway, Canton Garden Center, Schneider Park/Middle Branch Trail and the Edward "Peel" Coleman Southeast Community Center.

"You could say that libraries are the first instance of what today is called the ‘sharing economy'" said Jean Duncan McFarren, Deputy Director for the Stark County District Library. "We're extending our history of letting people borrow and return things - but now it's bikes as well as books."

To kick-off this new free program, the library is hosting a kick-off event from 5-7pm on Friday, June 5 in the parking lot of the Main Library at 715 Market Ave. North, Canton, Ohio 44702. The event will be suitable for adults and children, and registration is not required. Highlights of the Launch Celebration will include:

· 5pm: Ribbon cutting and brief program including words from TomTod participants and Jean Duncan McFarren, Deputy Director, Stark County District Library

· Registration for BikeSmart and library cards

· Demo rides on bright red BikeSmart bikes

· Activities for children (chalking, cornhole, pinwheel craft)

· Refreshments (popcorn and lemonade)

 

BikeSmart is being operated by Zagster, a nationwide provider of private and public-private bike sharing systems. Stark County residents and visitors who are interested in using a bike for free through BikeSmart and Zagster will first need an active library card. Patrons with an active library card can visit any Stark County District Library location and register for BikeSmart. With their BikeSmart registration they can borrow a bike at any time from any BikeSmart hub. In order to borrow a bike participants will use the Zagster Mobile App, available for iPhone and Android, or online at http://zagster.com/stark.

"A recent national survey found that while 53 percent of Americans would like to ride more often, 52 percent say they lack access to a functioning bike," said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. "Thanks to Stark County District Library, residents and visitors now can ride a bike when they want, without worrying about buying, maintaining and storing one."

Zagster is developing a national footprint of bike sharing programs in cities like Canton, which face different challenges than large metro areas but nonetheless want to offer bike sharing to residents and visitors. Zagster has recently launched services in Carmel and Huntingburg (Indiana), Albuquerque (New Mexico), Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) and several others. Currently, Zagster has hundreds of bikes deployed at more than 70 partner sites in more than 30 cities/towns in more than 25 states with thousands of members having taken tens of thousands of rides.

 

FULL PRESS RELEASE

 


Relative Link: https://cantonohio.gov/parksandrecreation/?pg=1000

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