SOURCE: Zagster

Zagster

June 04, 2013 09:03 ET

Zagster and Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority Bring Bike Sharing to Portland for Amtrak Downeaster Riders

Easy Access to Bikes Makes Exploring the Portland Area a Breeze for Passengers

CAMBRIDGE, MA and PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwired - Jun 4, 2013) - Zagster, a company that provides turnkey bike sharing services, today announced it has partnered with the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA), which manages the Amtrak Downeaster, to make Zagster bikes available by the day to passengers disembarking at the Portland, Maine, station. The self-serve bikes add a new dimension for rail passengers looking for a fun, healthy and convenient way to experience Portland and surrounding areas.

"As more and more New Englanders enjoy the simple pleasures of riding a bike, the idea of being able to explore Portland on two wheels makes a lot of sense," said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. "With this partnership, Downeaster passengers will be able to hop off the train and hop on a bike, giving them an easy way to get from the station to downtown -- and beyond. If successful in Portland, the Zagster model could become a new transportation mode for other stops along the Downeaster route."

Initially, 10 Breezer bikes will be available on-demand at the Portland Transportation Center, located at 100 Thompson Point Road in Portland, for up to a 24-hour period for just $20. Each bike contains a bike lock with the key stored inside a lock box. After joining Zagster at www.zagster.com riders simply Text 'start' plus the bike number (e.g. 'start 46') to a phone number. A confirmation message with the access code for the lock box is texted back. This action reserves the bike for the remainder of the day or until the bike is returned. Riders text "end" to the same number, which releases the bike for the next rider.

"Not only does Portland have incredible arts, culture and restaurants, it also has incredible scenery," said Natalie Allen, Marketing Director at the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. "With Zagster on site, it's easier -- and more fun -- than ever for people who want to experience all the city has to offer from the comfort and convenience of a bike."

From Casco Bay to the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouses to Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, there are miles and miles of bike trails and loops for riders of all ages and skill levels. The Breezer Uptown bikes used by Zagster have won numerous awards for their lightweight, yet durable frames. They are outfitted with spacious baskets ideal for a picnic lunch or for transporting goods purchased from Portland's many retail outlets. To become a member of Zagster, riders must register at www.zagster.com.

The Amtrak Downeaster operates five daily round-trips between Portland and Boston and two round-trips between Brunswick and Boston linking 12 communities in three states. To date, the Downeaster has transported more than 4.4 million passengers, generating more than $60 million in ticket revenue and relieving more than 300 million passenger miles from our roads. Each year, more than half a million people choose the Downeaster to take them to work, meetings, medical appointments, school, museums, sporting events, shopping or to visit friends.

Zagster is developing a national footprint of bike sharing programs in partnership with real estate/apartment companies, businesses, hotel chains and universities, all of whom are looking to provide value added services and benefits to tenants, guests or employees.

About Zagster
Founded in Philadelphia in 2007 as CityRyde and now headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is one of the nation's first bike sharing companies. Zagster is uniquely focused on contracting with property managers, hotels, businesses, and universities across North America to make bike sharing programs available to tenants, employees, guests and students. This highly efficient and unique model allows Zagster to offer services in areas that traditional city-wide bike sharing systems can't reach. More information about Zagster is available online at http://www.Zagster.com.

About NNEPRA

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) is a public transportation authority created in 1995 by the Maine State Legislature to develop and provide passenger rail service between Maine and Boston and points within Maine. NNEPRA's mission is to develop and manage a quality passenger rail system that meets the transportation needs of our customers, delivers value, and enhances economic development within the region we serve.

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