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Bike Sharing Expands at Columbia University through Zagster

Photo Courtesy Columbia University/Zagster

Starting Monday April 4, Columbia University students, faculty and staff can ride around campus and beyond on brand new cruiser bikes as part of a new bike-share program through Zagster, Inc. The program is piloting with 14 Zagster cruiser bikes at three Morningside campus locations.

Following the leadership and success of the EcoReps bike-share group for undergraduate students and through Columbia’s recruitment of Zagster to campus, a bike-share program is now open to the entire University community.

“Columbia recognizes the many benefits of bicycle travel and is continuing its efforts toward growing a bike culture on campus,” says Jessica Prata, Assistant Vice President, Environmental Stewardship. “Bringing bike share to all Columbia members is part of the University’s commitment to a healthy and sustainable Columbia. Creating a more bike-friendly campus reduces traffic and parking congestion, improves the health of the University community, and offers an easy, alternative travel mode to and around Columbia.”

Zagster bike share is located on campus at:

–          Eastern entrance of Lerner Hall

–          Between Butler Library and John Jay Hall

–          Wien Courtyard

The bike share is offered through three different options, following standard guidelines of bike-share programs at other campuses: annual, monthly and one-day memberships, described below.

  1. Annual Membership

$20 membership fee billed annually

Trips under 1 hour are free; then pay $3/hour (up to $30/ride)

  1. Monthly Membership

$8 membership fee billed monthly

Trips under 1 hour are free; then pay $3/hour (up to $30/ride)

  1. 24-Hour Membership

$5 one-time fee

Trips under 1 hour are free; then pay $3/hour (up to $30/ride)

* Riders will be charged an additional $35 overtime charge for keeping a bike over 24 hours. 

In addition to Columbia, Zagster has bike-share programs at Ohio State, Yale, Princeton and more than 130 other colleges and communities across North America.

“Columbia sought out an opportunity to immediately make bike sharing available to the entire university community while Citi Bike, New York City’s largest and most recognized bike-sharing program, systematically expands northward in Manhattan,” continued Prata.  “We will monitor the usage and popularity of the Zagster bike share through this pilot initiative and look for opportunities to expand it, particularly in Manhattanville.”

The bike-share expansion to the entire Columbia community is one of several bicycle-friendly initiatives Columbia is leading.  Following the successful pilot of the bicycle parking enclosure in the Grove, a second enclosure has been installed in Wien Courtyard.  There are several workshops on bicycle street skills and traffic safety being offered to Columbia affiliates in conjunction with Bike New York.  Ride Your Bike to Campus Days are returning on April 13 at Morningside, and April 15 and a special Earth Day event on April 22 at the Columbia University Medical Center campus.  All bicycle-related information at Columbia has been centralized on the Columbia Transportation website at

The Columbia bike share features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike includes a spacious basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell and full reflectors. An integrated bike lock enables riders to park and lock their bikes wherever they want during a trip, instead of being required to re-dock at a station, giving them greater flexibility to enjoy everything the city has to offer.

To join and ride, users can visit, or download the free Zagster Mobile App, available for iPhone and Android. Each bike has a unique number that riders enter into the app to obtain a single-use code to open the lockbox on the back of the bike. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message.) A key in the lockbox allows the bike to be locked and unlocked throughout a ride. After the rider returns the bike to a designated Zagster bike station, the rental ends, and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy.

About Zagster 

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the largest and fastest-growing bike share provider in the United States. Zagster works directly with over 130 communities across North America to make scalable bike-sharing programs available in areas where traditional bike share providers can’t reach. The company’s goal: To make the bike the most loved form of transportation. More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at

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