University Transportation and Parking Services this month announced a bike-sharing program that will allow anyone with a Lehigh ID to share the use of one of 10 cruiser-style bikes for a $15 yearly fee.
Lehigh is partnering with Zagster, a leading provider of bike-sharing services, to bring the new, sustainable transportation option to campus.
Robert Bruneio, manager of transportation services at Lehigh, said that collaboration with the Office of Sustainability throughout the past few years prompted efforts to bring in programs and projects that support Lehigh University’s goals toward a more sustainable campus.
Lehigh currently has a car-sharing program and a ride-pooling program, Bruneio says.
“So why not bring in a bike-sharing program too,” he says. “Good things come in threes...and these are certainly three really good options for everyone on campus."
Students will be able to take the bikes out in four-hour increments.
Riders sign up by downloading the Zagster Mobile App. To use the app, riders enter the unique ID number found on the bike they wish to use. An access code for the lock box is provided.
All bikes come with a flexible lock that riders can use throughout the duration of their rental and lock and unlock the bike anywhere along their trip.
For out-of-state students whose homes are more than a few hours away, like Sydney Bagley, a senior marketing major from Chattanooga, Tennessee, the bike-share program is a cheap alternative to shipping a bike from home, or buying a new one.
“There was a need for a bike-sharing program on campus,” Bagley says. ‘It’s a great way to explore the city of Bethlehem.”
Instead of driving to class or a meeting, she suggests renting one of the bikes instead. “It promotes a more sustainable community.”
Students aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the program. “Lehigh bike sharing is for all community members, not just students,” she said.
Regarding the number of bikes available, Bruneio said Lehigh is planning to add more bikes in the future.
"You can take the bikes to the rail trail or the Greenway [rails-to-trails park]. You can take it over to the city or the North side across the bridge and visit Main Street. There is a lot of potential for the program to be successful. We are hoping to add bikes along the way as we go.”
Bruneio is excited about the partnership with Zagster too.
"With all the programs in place, our students have the best opportunities of transportation options. We want to give students as many options as we can to make their careers at Lehigh that much better, and I think the partnership with Zagster is another item we have to do that.”