Participation in the community bike program in Warsaw and Winona Lake is seeing steady growth in its first few months.
According to officials, 475 people have registered with Zagster for the service.
The program charges a small fee to use the bikes and requires participants to return them to one of four bike racks in Warsaw and Winona Lake when they are done.
The program was unveiled in mid-May.
Zimmer Biomet purchased 20 bikes for the program. Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce oversees the program, and a bike shop in Winona Lake, Trailhouse Village Bicycles, is responsible for repairs and redistributing the bikes among the four bike racks. Registration is done through Zagster.com.
The chamber’s executive director, Rob Parker, said participation is beyond expectations.
“It’s way exceeding the pace,” Parker said. “According to our last call with Zagster, we’re about triple of what they would expect for the average rollout of the program.”
The number of actual rides, tracked by Zagster, is close to 765.
“It’s really encouraging to see,” Assistant Warsaw City Planner Justin Taylor said.
Zagster is a national program and has agreements with several cities in Indiana.
Bike racks are located in the Village at Winona, near the Gordon Rec Center at Grace College, near Warsaw Community Public Library and at Boggs Industrial Park near the Zimmer Biomet campus on Warsaw’s west side.
The most popular station is Winona Lake, according to Taylor.
Parker said he’d like to see the program expand into other communities such as Syracuse, and other locations that have nearby bike trails.
Parker said he’s been promoting the bike program with various groups and businesses. A key to further growth is support from others to help cover the cost of bikes.
Each fully equipped bike costs about $1,800, and a minimum of three is needed to establish a new bike rack, he said.
To learn more about the program or sign up, go to Zagster.com/Kosciusko.