City of Arcata and HSU team up to spread bike sharing service across Humboldt County

The City of Arcata and Humboldt State University have teamed up with a company called Zagster to provide alternative transportation solutions for anyone with a smartphone who's looking for a ride.

Zagster is a company that manages bike sharing programs. The program officially launched in Arcata when the first station opened on HSU's campus in September of 2017.

"We've been able to pilot it, to some extent, and now with the city setting up their station, I think we're just going to see it take off," HSU climate analyst Morgan King said.

All anyone needs to use the service is access to Zagster's smartphone app. The app provides three different riding options. An hourly membership charges $1 per every 30 minutes and up to $20 per ride. An annual membership charges a one-time $30 fee for the year. Trips under an hour are free, and annual members are charged $1 for every 30 minutes after that hour. Student annual memberships are available to HSU students, faculty, and staff. There is a one-time $20 membership fee for the year that allows riders to take trips under one hour for free. Each hour after that costs $2 per hour.

"Looking at the bike trail coming on, we really thought there might be a need for people to really give them an opportunity to ride a bike around town, and something to ride your bike to and from," City of Arcata engineer Doby Class said.

Three stations currently exist throughout Arcata. One is located on the plaza by Hotel Arcata. The other two are on the HSU campus - one at Griffith Hall and the other at the Jolly Giant Commons. Three more stations in Arcata are also currently in the works.

"We're going to see an additional installation on the south side of the plaza, as well as one up in north town up at 16th Street, and then additionally at the Co-Op is what our goal is," Class said. "Ultimately, we'd like to expand something out more towards possibly somewhere along the trails."

The program costs the city $10,000 per year to manage. According to King, Zagster has 217 active members in Arcata. Those members have taken a total of 594 trips, and 39 percent of them are repeat riders. Both Class and King hope the service's growing popularity will push the City of Eureka to make it available there as well.

"You'd be able to check a bike out here, ride the bike trail down to the City of Eureka ultimately, and then maybe drop it off there," Class said.

"We can actually track and see where the bikes are going, and there's already been at least one bike in Eureka that came from HSU," King said. "So, someone is jumping on the bay trail and riding a certain amount to get to Eureka, which is pretty neat. They're starting to get a lot of use."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off