Zagster: Bike Share Comes To Winston-Salem

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Zagster Bike Share on streetWinston-Salem has joined the ranks of many cities and universities around the country by adding a bike share system to our urban environment. Zagster bike share provides an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to rent bikes to use around town for recreation or transportation.

What Is Zagster?

Zagster is a Massachusetts-based company that brings bike share programs to willing participants around the country. They specialize in tailoring each program to meet the specific needs of the environment it will be introduced into and provide a turn-key ready system with an excellent record of safety and satisfaction.

How Does It Work?

First things first, you have to download the Zagster app onto your smartphone and join the Winston-Salem bike share. Upon opening the app, you will find a map that will show you locations of the bike stations and the number of available bikes at each one. You must then go to the site you desire and pick a bike.

You will enter the specific bike number into the app and follow the instructions to unlock it. At this point, you are free to ride around wherever you like and can even lock the bike at any public rack mid-ride. When you are ready to end your ride, you must return to any local Zagster bike station and follow the instructions in the app to lock the bike and complete your trip.

What Does It Cost?

There are three options for pricing:

  • Annual membership: $30/year
    • Trips less than 1 hour are free and each additional hour is $3 with $24 being the ride maximum
  • Student membership: $15/year
    • Available to anyone with an .edu email address
    • Trips less than 1 hour are free and each additional hour is $3 with $24 being the ride maximum
  • Hourly plan: $3/hour
    • $24 is the ride maximum

No matter the plan you choose, if you keep a bike over 24 hours, you will be charged a $30 overtime fee.

Where Are The Bike Stations?

There are several Zagster stations around town where you can pick up a bike.

Downtown Locations

  • Bailey Park
  • 4th and Liberty
  • 4th and Trade
  • IMG (Trade Street)
  • Benton Convention Center
  • Arts District
  • Theater District
  • Long Branch Trail

There are also stations at the Gateway YWCA and Salem Lake (next to the playground).

My Experience With Zagster

When I started noticing bike stations around town I was curious. Exercise is a part of my daily life, but I often get bored with the same old thing so I’m always looking for ways to make it fun. Riding a bike is something I hadn’t done in a while, but I figured hey, it’s just like riding a bike… right? So, I decided to give it a try.

After a quick online search to see how it works, it took me all of 5 minutes to get my account set up, and I was ready to go. I saw a bike station at the Gateway YWCA, and since I knew that I could connect to the greenway there, that’s where I began.

My first ride went from the YWCA to Salem Lake via the Salem Creek Greenway. I enjoyed it so much I decided to ride around the lake as well. I got so caught up in the experience that I ended up riding for almost 2 hours. It was just so much fun!

The following week I set out again from the same location, but instead of heading to the lake, I went through Quarry Park and connected to the Waughtown Greenway. A few days later I decided to check out the new Long Branch Trail. I picked up a bike at Bailey Park Bike Station and rode the length of the trail.

Learn more about Winston-Salem parks

Every time I pick up a bike, I try a new path, and I am reminded of how much I enjoy it. Because of all the different ways you can go around town, and the comfort and ease of using Zagster, this has become one of my favorite things to do.

I really love the idea of this as much as I love using it. It is a perfect fit for our city. We are a unique city that is growing and changing constantly. We need to attract young people here so we can continue to grow and evolve the businesses that will provide new opportunities. Things like a bike share program make our city fresh and attractive to those people.

Have you ever used Zagster or another bike share? Where did you go and what was your experience?

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