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City of Bloomington and Indiana University Partner to Launch Dockless Bike Sharing Service 

The City of Bloomington and Indiana University have partnered to launch a dockless bike share service to give residents, students, and visitors an affordable and sustainable on-demand transportation option.  Working in collaboration, the city and the university contracted with the Pace program, operated by bike share company Zagster, to bring a fleet of smart bikes to Bloomington starting in June 2018. City and university officials marked the launch of the program with a press conference that featured remarks by Mayor John Hamilton, IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel, testimonials from local bicycling enthusiasts, and a preview and demo of the smart bikes in the network.

“From the Little 500 to the Hilly Hundred, Bloomington’s affection for bicycling is legendary,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Bringing a twenty-first century bike share program to town is a decision that reflects this proud legacy while strengthening our commitment to the health of our residents and the sustainability of our environment.”  

In this dockless bike share system, bicycles are positioned around the city at dedicated bicycle parking racks, public bicycle racks, and other bicycle securing locations throughout the municipality and on campus—enabling true point-to-point travel for the occasional user while also ensuring riders can reliably work bike sharing into their daily routines. Over the next few months, about a dozen dedicated Pace racks will be installed across the city. In order to locate a bicycle, users consult the Pace Bike Share app, which is also used to pay for and unlock the bicycles. Rides cost $1.00 per half hour, with monthly subscriptions available offering unlimited 60-minute trips.  

With an initial base of 150 bicycles, the fleet will scale up over time to match rider demand.  One of the advantages of this particular dockless system is a secondary security feature allowing the bicycles to be locked to fixed objects, not just to themselves. The bicycles in the Pace system will offer the additional benefit of generating data about usage that will help guide the expansion of the program and its integration into existing transportation plans.

“Offering a variety of transportation options is essential for relieving city congestion and keeping traffic at bay,” said Kevin Whited, Indiana University's Transportation Demand Management Coordinator and Bicycle Manager. "Given our community’s dedication to bicycling and the convenience of this system, we anticipate that it will play a significant role in reducing car usage, lowering parking demand, and improving overall public health.”

The Pace system is operated by the Boston-based company Zagster, which runs more than 200 bike shares across 35 states. More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at www.zagster.com. More information about Pace can be found at www.ridepace.com.

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