HERSHEY, Pa. — A new bike share program is making it easier, healthier and more fun to navigate the campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
The Medical Center and College of Medicine partnered with bike share company Zagster to provide employees and students free access to 30 bikes that can be checked out by smart phone. Each bike has a unique number which riders enter into the free Zagster app to obtain a single-use code that unlocks the bike. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message.)
Distributed among six stations, the bikes offer a transportation alternative to the campus shuttles or personal cars for people traveling the 552-acre Hershey campus. Bike riding can contribute to employee wellness, ease traffic congestion on campus and help reduce the organization’s carbon footprint.
Membership in the bike share program is free for anyone with a Penn State Health email address. The bikes are free to use for up to two hours, with a $3 per hour charge after that. For those without a Penn State Health email address, a one-time, $5 registration fee is charged to sign up. Learn more at zagster.com/hersheybikes.
Unlike other programs in which riders must drop off bikes at designated stations for every stop, Zagster’s programs gives users the freedom to ride as long as they want, wherever they want — including the local bike trails and paths connected to the medical campus or even around Hershey. The Hershey Bike Share program features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike includes a spacious basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout, or personal belongings. Each bike is also equipped with automatic lights and other safety features.
“Our hope is that staff and students will use the bikes to get around our sprawling campus and also to access the many wonderful restaurants and shops in the community,” said Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, CEO of Penn State Health, and Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs. “Research shows that riding a bike is good for our physical and mental wellbeing but quite honestly, I bike because it’s fun.”
Zagster will manage all aspects of the bike share program, including technology and bike maintenance, in partnership with In Gear Cycling & Fitness in Hummelstown.
The Medical Center provided free helmets to the first 200 staff and students to sign up. Additional helmets are available for $29.99 at the Medical Center’s Penn State Store.
Zagster is the leading provider of private and public-private bike-sharing systems in the United States, operating more than 150 programs in more than 30 states. More information about Zagster and its programs can be found at www.zagster.com.