Planners of cycle events should know that Wichita is emerging as a cycle-friendly town, and that this may feed into spectator interest for possible future events.
The City of Wichita has a new transportation system. BikeShareICT, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and the Knight Foundation Fund through the Wichita Community Foundation, will make 100 cruiser bikes available for Wichitans to use for on-demand local trips from 19 stations throughout downtown Wichita.
BikeShareICT leverages Zagster, a provider of city bike share programs around the country, to supply the bikes, bike stations, and the app that gives users access. Annual memberships are $30. College student annual memberships are $20. Riders can also borrow bikes for $3 per hour.
“We want to ensure everyone has access to safe and active transportation, and we want to revitalize our downtown to better attract and retain young talent. Bike sharing is a powerful tool toward both ends,” said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell. “Now is the perfect time to begin bike sharing in Wichita, and Zagster is a perfect partner to help us achieve our goals,” said Longwell.
BCBSKS, the state’s largest health insurer, is making an initial contribution of $194,000 to provide bikes and marketing support for the first year of the BikeShareICT program, with the intention of helping the program grow. “Throughout our 75 year history, we’ve made helping Kansans lead healthier lives one of our top priorities,” said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. “I commend Mayor Longwell, those at Health ICT and all those involved for making it happen. BCBSKS is proud to serve as primary sponsor for BikeShareICT and we look forward to helping grow the program,” said Corbin.
Becky Tuttle, Project Manager for Health ICT and Chair of the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita, credits the collaborative funding partnership with making this new program possible.
“Health ICT and the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita are extremely grateful for the generous contribution from BCBSKS and the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to launch BikeShareICT. Without this fantastic financial support, and the technical assistance from the City of Wichita, this amazing amenity in our community would not be coming to fruition. BikeShareICT will allow another safe form of active transportation in our community and we are excited to be a part of this opportunity to make our community healthier,” said Tuttle.
About Zagster: Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the leading provider of private and public-private bike-sharing systems in the United States. Zagster works directly with more than 150 communities in more than 30 states to make bike sharing available in areas where traditional bike-share providers can’t reach. Its efficient business model allows the company to successfully deploy in multiple markets, including cities, suburbs, universities, commercial campuses and residential properties. Zagster manages all aspects of its programs – from bikes and technology, to maintenance and marketing – enabling Zagster’s partners to create and deploy scalable bike-share systems that best suit their communities. 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 www.zagster.com.