City officials and representatives from numerous area organizations launched a city-wide bike sharing program today, called Upgrade Bike Share, at a press conference on the University of Evansville campus.
Beginning immediately, 70 cruiser bikes are available at seven stations across Evansville for members to use on demand. Anyone over the age of 18 can ride by purchasing a day pass or by enrolling in a monthly or annual membership. Rides for members are free for up to one hour, then three dollars per hour after that.
Locations are as follows: University of Evansville campus, North Main Street, West Franklin Street, Downtown YMCA, Downtown Pagoda at the Evansville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Haynie’s Corner Arts District, and the Deaconess Sports Park on North Green River Road.
Evansville mayor Lloyd Winnecke; University of Evansville president Thomas Kazee; Welborn Baptist CEO and executive director Kevin Bain; Don Jones, Evansville Area Trails Coalition president and UE’s vice president for marketing and communications; Darin Lander, Evansville Area Trails Coalition board member; and Angela Reisetter, Changemaker Challenge Team Coach all addressed the press conference crowd.
In attendance were members of the Changemaker Challenge teams from the University of Evansville, Memorial High School, and Central High School. The Changemaker Challenge is dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs and innovators. The competition, put on by the Institute for Global Enterprise in Indiana at UE, began at the college level with UE students and was opened up to area high schools last year. The teams from Central and Memorial High Schools both proposed a bike sharing project separately and have since worked together on the project.
“The installation and launch of this program marks the culmination of a collaborative effort between an impressive network of individuals committed to the progress of Evansville,” said Winnecke. “High school students, college students, and leaders from city organizations large and small are all on the forefront of making ideas happen, and I continue to be inspired by how great Evansville is and can be.”
The Upgrade Bike Share program is fully funded by local sponsors including Deaconess Health System, St. Mary’s Health System, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, City of Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development, Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Welborn Baptist Foundation, and Meritain Health.
A representative from Zagster, the company providing the bike share system, was also in attendance.
This initial network of seven stations and 70 bikes is expected to grow in the coming years. To become a member or for more information including a map of the stations, please visit http://bike.zagster.com/upgrade.