Gearing Up: Mayor announces new boulevards at Bike Share launch

Originally published in The Burg.

October 5, 2017 - Community members joined city officials this morning for the official launch of the Harrisburg Bike Share, where the mayor also announced a new initiative to encourage motorists to share the road with cyclists.

Speaking from the atrium at Strawberry Square, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said that the city will establish its two bike boulevards in the spring on low-speed, low-traffic streets. A boulevard on Aberdeen Street will connect the Capitol complex and the Harrisburg Transportation Center, and another on North Street will extend from the Capitol to Riverfront Park.

The city will paint both roads with “sharrows,” road signs indicating a shared lane for cyclists and motorists. The signals do not designate the roads as bike-only lanes.

Other than the road signals, the bike boulevards will not receive additional traffic control mechanisms or construction.

Though they may be a small step, the boulevards are part growing bike infrastructure in Harrisburg, Papenfuse said.

“Soon, we will have an interlocking system of bike lanes and bike boulevards in the city,” he said.

He added that the city hopes to create bike lanes on 2nd street when it is repaved and painted for two-way traffic, a project still a few years away.

Harrisburg’s Bike Share has been in operation since last Friday. The program comprises 55 communal bicycles docked at 11 stations throughout the city’s Midtown, Uptown and downtown neighborhoods.

Ryan Riley, president of Communities in Schools Pennsylvania, the organization spearheading the program, said 145 new members have collectively taken 205 trips with the Bike Share since last Friday.

Riley also reported that two docking stations are forthcoming at the Harrisburg Transportation Center. All nine others are already installed and operable.

The Bike Share is sponsored by the Dauphin County Commissioners, Strawberry Square and Highmark. All technical support and bike maintenance is managed by Zagster, a startup that operates more than 100 bike shares across the country.

Riders must pay to use the bikes, which they can unlock through the Zagster phone app. A $25 annual membership gives riders free access to bikes for periods shorter than two hours and then charges $2 for each hour after that. “Pay as You Go” members will be charged $2 for each hour they use a bike.

Users who register in October can get a $10 discount on annual memberships by entering the promo code “rideharrisburg” in the Zagster App.

One of the largest bike shares in Pennsylvania was launched in Harrisburg

Originally published in WGOLV.

October 5, 2017 - Are you familiar with bike shares?  If not, you might want to read the following information.  Yesterday, was the launch of one of the largest bike shares in Pennsylvania.  Read more about it from PennDOT.

Yesterday, the City of Harrisburg celebrated the launch of one of the largest bike shares in Pennsylvania with Communities In Schools PennsylvaniaHighmark Blue Shield and other partners. Organizers gathered in Strawberry Square for the announcement, ribbon cutting, and an inaugural bike ride.

Supporting projects that improve and expand the multimodal transportation network in the Commonwealth is an important part of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) ’s work.

Learn more: http://bike.zagster.com/harrisburg/

Bike sharing comes to Harrisburg: Here's how to use the new service

Originally published on PennLive.com.

October 4, 2017 - Live or work in Harrisburg? Now you can rent a bike to get around the city.

The bike-sharing service Zagster has set up nine stations across the capital where it will rent 55 bicycles. Two more stations are in the works.

Bikes are available for a $25 annual fee with trips of less than two hours free and $2 per hour for longer trips. They can also be rented without a membership for $2 per hour for up to 10 hours. (Those who keep the bikes for more than 24 hours will be charged a $50 overtime fee.)

Ninety-three percent of proceeds are earmarked for the nonprofit Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania, which serves local students and their families.

How does the system work?

  1. Download the Zagster app on your phone and join the Harrisburg bike share.
  2. Plug the bike number (For example #1234) into the app and receive a unique code to unlock the bike.
  3. Dial that lock code, remove the docking cable and use the bike. (With helmet, of course.)
  4. Return the bike at any other station. Press and hold the lock button on the keypad until the light flashes.
  5. Find the orange tab on the ring lock and slide it down. Place the docking cable from the station into the port on the ring lock. Tap "End Ride" in the Zagster app.
  6. The lock can also be used on any public bike rack with the unique code for mid-ride stops.

Communities In Schools Of PA Launches Harrisburg Bike Share Program Oct. 5

Originally published on PA Environment Digest Blog.

October 2, 2017 - Harrisburg Bike Share will launch its new program, sponsored by Highmark Blue Shield, that will provide all Harrisburg residents and visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town starting October 5.

Ninety-three percent of all proceeds will directly benefit local nonprofit, Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania (CISPA), a dropout prevention organization serving nearly 50,000 students and their families.

“The Harrisburg Bike Share program is a community-wide effort to create a more cohesive city based on opportunity and growth,” said Ryan Riley, President and State Director of Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania. “Our organization serves students in and out of schools by providing the necessary resources for success. In a sense, we are doing the same for our city, and it will allow us to continue to help those children who are most in need.”

Program sponsors include the Dauphin County Commissioners, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg University and Harrisburg Young Professionals.

“We are very proud to be a part of this initiative. We believe many of our local citizens will enjoy the benefits of the program,” said Kathleen McKenzie, Vice President of Community Affairs for Highmark Blue Shield. “We have a long history of working with the City of Harrisburg, Dauphin County and many others that are here today.”

CISPA will outsource bike share operations through Zagster, a national bike share provider that powers more than 200 programs in 35 states. 55 Zagster cruiser bikes will be available at 11 stations. An annual membership costs $25.

Pay as you go memberships cost $2 per hour for up to $20 per ride. Riders will be charged an additional overtime fee for keeping bikes over 24 hours.

Zagster makes it easy to grab a bike and go. Riders can view stations and bikes in the free Zagster app, available on the App Store and Google Play, or online. One tap in the app automatically unlocks the ring lock on the rear wheel, allowing a rider to get rolling in seconds.

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.

The program will be announced at a press conference October 5 at 11:00 a.m. in Strawberry Square, Harrisburg.

For more information, visit the Harrisburg Bike Share webpage.  Questions should be directed to Jenna Lewis, Vice President, Communities in Schools of PA by calling 717-645-6696 or send email to: jenna@cisofpa.org.

Presser Set To Kick Off Harrisburg Bike Share

Originally published on the City of Harrisburg website.

October 2, 2017 - Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania (CISPA), title sponsor Highmark Blue Shield, and valuable partners will kick-off the official launch of the Harrisburg Bike Share on Thursday, October 5th at 11 AM in Strawberry Square

One of the largest city bike shares in the state of Pennsylvania, next to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the Harrisburg Bike Share will directly benefit local youth. 93% of the revenue generated by the program will support services offered by CIPSA, the Commonwealth’s largest dropout prevention organization, serving nearly 50,000 students and their families.   

Following the press conference, invited guests will take part in the Harrisburg Bike Share ceremonial ribbon cutting and inaugural bike ride using Harrisburg Bike Share bicycles.  The Inaugural riders will include Representative Patty Kim, Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, and other active members of our community. 

WHO:

WHAT:

Press conference to launch Harrisburg Bike Share program. Ribbon cutting ceremony and inaugural bike ride to follow.    

WHEN:

October 5, 2017, 11:00 am- 11:45 am 

WHERE:

  • Press Conference:   Strawberry Square, Clock Tower; 320 Market St. Harrisburg, PA 17101 
  • Ribbon Cutting: Strawberry Square, outside Walnut Street entrance 
  • Inaugural Ride:   Strawberry Square, Walnut Street entrance,  down 3rd Street to the main Capitol steps 

Bike Share Program Set to Start Next Week in Harrisburg

Originally published in CBS 21 News.

September 29, 2017 - HARRISBURG, Pa — You know the old saying 'it's like riding a bike?'

Well now it's just that easy to rent a bicycle and pedal around the Capital.

It's all part of the city's new bike sharing program spearheaded by Communities in Schools Pennsylvania.

The bikes can be found at 11 docking stations around the city. Some of the locations include uptown, midtown, downtown and City Island. 

You can either buy a $25 membership to ride the bikes for free up to two hours or you can pay as you go.

"I'm a cycler and have my own bike and I thought this would be a nice little way to get some exercise instead of walking," said Terry Miller, who works in Harrisburg. 

Friday was the soft launch of the ride sharing program, the official kickoff is set for Oct. 5.

The Wheel Deal: City Bike Share To Roll Out This Week.

Article originally published on TheBurg.

September 26, 2017 - The program is modeled after bike share systems that have sprouted up in recent years in cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Paying members use a smart phone app or text messages to unlock a bicycle from the docking station and then ride and return it to any docking station in the city.

A $25 annual membership will give riders free access to bikes for periods shorter than two hours and then charge $2 for each hour after that. “Pay as You Go” members will be charged $2 for each hour they use a bike.

The program is spearheaded by Communities in Schools Pennsylvania (CIS), a dropout prevention organization, and sponsored by organizations including Highmark insurance and the Dauphin County commissioners. CIS will outsource bike share management to Zagster, a startup that operates more than 100 city bike shares across the country.

A map released by CIS on Tuesday shows 11 docking stations in the city’s Uptown, Midtown and downtown neighborhoods and on City Island.

Ryan Riley, president of CIS, said that Zagster representatives helped determine where to place docking stations. National data show that bike shares are most successful when docking stations are spaced ¼-mile apart in areas with high pedestrian safety, he explained.

Those standards mean that some neighborhoods were cut off from the docking stations, Riley said, since major thoroughfares in the city cannot safely accommodate cyclists.

“Paxton Street and Cameron Street were two big impediments,” Riley said. “But that cuts off parts of Allison Hill and Bellevue Park, which creates a whole section of the city that can’t connect with the other parts of it safely.”

The stations also had to be located on city property. All of the docking stations are located on public sidewalks, or, in the case of the City Island stations, on city-owned land, said Jenna Lewis, CIS vice president.

Riley hopes to add more docking locations in the future, but said that early user trends will dictate how the program grows. Bike share sponsors will watch ridership data to see who is using the bicycles and for what purposes.

“We need to know if this will be a leisure [service] or if we have people who want to use these bikes to get to employment areas,” Riley said. “We need to see success to know where to expand.”

Zagster will charge an annual $90,000 subscription fee for bikes, insurance, maintenance and technical support. Harrisburg’s program also will have a separate marketing budget to fund ad campaigns and outreach events.

Riley said that the bike share sponsors are committed to seeing the program through for at least two years, though they don’t expect it to be self-sustaining after that.

Instead, they see their sponsorships as investments in public health, community building and traffic improvements.

“The whole point of bike shares is to increase pedestrian access by using bikes to improve communities and replace driving,” Riley said.

The program is part of a larger effort to raise awareness of CIS’s mission within the Harrisburg community, according to Riley. He said that the program launch will tie into their plans to establish a reengagement center for underserved youth in the city. CiS expects to open that center in spring 2018.