Residents in Mercer County can now enjoy a new bike share program throughout the county park system and Lawrence-Hopewell Trail.
During a ceremony on June 26, Mercer County officials launched the Zagster Bike Share program at Rosedale Park in Pennington.
“We have been working very hard to make Mercer County Park Northwest and all of our parks more accessible to people. We want to make certain we get as many people as possible to use these parks,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes announced. “It is really one of the jewels of our county. This program is an example of how we are trying to maximize the jewels that we have.”
He explained that to get the program started, they had to go through several hurtles and put it together piece by piece.
“We made sure we had one of the biggest passive recreation and one of the biggest trails by partnering with the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail. We think we will get more use of the parks with this program,” Hughes said. “People are already out here walking and using our parks, so this is just another amenity to try and get people out. This also helps promote a healthier lifestyle.”
Zagster Bike Share allows people to sign up for the program through their app, which opens up Zagster bikes for use at an hourly rate, according to officials.
“This is something that contributes to a great quality of life,” Park Commission Executive Director Aaron Watson said.
There are three locations for Zagster bike rentals in Mercer County which include the Mercer County Park in West Windsor at the 9/11 Memorial, Mercer Meadows at Rosedale Park and the Red Barn.
Each rental station will have 10 bikes available, according to officials.
“It is kind of like we brought Europe here. All of wonderful things we can do in Europe we can do in Mercer County, Hopewell and Lawrence. It is wonderful that people do not have to be in their cars to travel,” said Becky Taylor, Lawrence-Hopewell Trail founder and Co-President. “The Lawrence-Hopewell Trail is all about connecting communities and people. That fact that you can leave your bike anywhere with this wonderful program, the fact that you can take a bike out for very little cost will hopefully have people come out and enjoy the wonderful parts of the area.”
She said that the bike share program will have people connect in different ways.
“I think this is a great program. I live in Princeton. The Zagster program has been in Princeton,” said Andrew Koontz, Mercer County Freeholder and Vice-Chairman. “I have really seen since the introduction of the program a real increase in cycling. This not just for people who use Zagster alone. Just making this available is a great way to see a park and get around. I rode the bikes they are comfortable and well made.
He said getting people riding is a benefit for everybody.
Mercer County officials said not only will the Zagster Bike Share program promote health and wellness, but strengthen the local community.