Coming soon: Electric-assist bike-share program to University Park campus and State College Borough

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Get ready to pedal! Penn State students as well as State College residents will soon have a new way to get to class, work and even the grocery store.

Starting on Monday Aug. 16, you’ll see racks of Spin electric-assist bikes throughout the borough and University Park campus.

Funded by Penn State’s Transportation Services, the e-bikes will have a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour and be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

According to Sustainable Transportation Program Coordinator Cecily Zhu, all one needs is a dollar to unlock them, and then it’s 25 cents per minute to ride.

“But for the first month we’re actually waiving the unlock fee so it’s only 25 cents to ride. We’re hoping to get more people on bikes and just encourage biking in the area,” said Zhu.

Zhu says membership options will be offered to make it more affordable, with other options being available for those with low incomes.

When riding Zhu says you can adjust the level of assist, but first must pedal for it to kick in.

While using the Spin app, riders will be made aware of slow and no parking zones.

“We do have photo validation in the app so when you park, you take a photo of the bike at the rack. But also with the geo fencing technology you have to be within a certain distance of the rack anyway for it to even allow you to end your ride,” said Zhu.

According to Zhu this will prevent people from leaving bikes in the middle of the road.

“We don’t want that relationship with our community,” said Zhu.

The bike program will start out with 75 bikes, but will be ramped up to 300 by October.

“And we’re not taking bike racks away, if anything we’re adding more racks to accomadate these extra bikes in the community,” said Zhu.

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