Local

Zagster bike-share program coming to McHenry County

Zagster equipment slated for Woodstock, McHenry, Crystal Lake, Richmond

Members of the McHenry County Bicycle Club ride along area roads July 14, 2016.
Members of the McHenry County Bicycle Club ride along area roads July 14, 2016.

A bike-sharing pilot program is set to hit Woodstock by the summer.

The McHenry County Convention and Visitors Bureau is working with Boston-based Zagster to bring bike-sharing stations to municipalities throughout McHenry County. Zagster requires a two-year commitment and at least five stations to begin the program in a new area, according to Woodstock city documents.

The Woodstock City Council agreed to sponsor the program, which means it will pay $14,000 over the course of the two-year pilot, according to city documents. Visit McHenry County and the McHenry County Division of Transportation each will pay $10,000 toward the program, according to city documents.

Woodstock’s sponsorship will pay for the program and equipment, which includes maintenance, installation and inventory balancing, according to city documents.

Bike Haven in Woodstock has agreed to accept, build and store the Zagster bikes before the program is put in place, likely by June, documents show.

Woodstock’s bike-share station will be installed at the south end of the Clay Street commuter public parking lot by the Metra station. Eight bicycles will be available.

Zagster also has agreements to bring the bike stations to Richmond, Crystal Lake, McHenry, McHenry County College and the McHenry County government complex, according to city documents.

Not all those agreements are with the municipalities themselves because some businesses have the commitment instead, according to city documents.

People can use the bikes by becoming a member of Zagster for $25 annually. An annual membership for students is $15.

Members can use the bikes for two hours at a time before additional charges begin to accrue. Riders could check the bike in at a station and take it out for another two hours without an additional charge, according to city documents.

Nonmembers can pay as they go using the Zagster app. The rate differs from area to area. Kankakee County’s Zagster program charges $1 per half-hour, whereas the city of Normal’s rate is $3 an hour, for example.

About 93% of user fees will go back to Visit McHenry County, according to city documents.

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