MTD is about more than buses. We believe public transportation is about mobility and that means choices. MTD’s service is a critical part of a complex and interrelated mobility network. Which is why we support community partners on projects and readily share our resources. And because of that, we are proud to announce another community transportation partnership.
Thanks to an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between MTD, the Cities of Champaign and Urbana, and the University of Illinois, Zipbike is coming to our community! The roots of this IGA were planted in October 2008 when the same agencies got together to bring Zipcar to Champaign-Urbana.
Building off the successful launch of Zipcar, Zipbike will bring bike sharing services to our community. Like Zipcar, Zipbike is a member-driven (literally and figuratively) service where a bike can be picked up at any station around campus and the community, and then dropped off at any other station. Bike sharing services have been popular within large urban communities for many years. The urban-like setting a major university creates in smaller towns generates a similar environment.
A new partnership between Zagster and Zipcar is creating Zipbike – a bike sharing service in university communities. Zipbike has offered Champaign-Urbana a grant on start-up, installation, and on-going expenses to MTD and the University of Illinois. The University of Illinois has a grant that will cover the remaining costs. It’s a win-win-win agreement! One of the primary bike share stations will be at Illinois Terminal.
The tentative plan is to set up 75 bikes across 10 docking stations. The fee to the user will be $50 a year, $55 with a Zipcar membership, or $4 an hour for non-members. The fees will go to Zagster and Zipcar to maintain the program.
Idea Turned Study Turned Reality
Our area’s robust cycling community, fostered each May with Bike Month, have long believed our community yielded adequate demand for a bike share. Students of the University of Illinois have shared similar sentiments. You can read the feasibility study conducted in 2012 that elevated the idea.
Will you use Zipbike? Are you a Zipcar user? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.