Zagster out: 1k+ residents without a bike-sharing program in Kankakee


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There will be no bike-sharing service this summer in Kankakee

“We at Zagster are taking precautions to ensure that we are keeping you safe in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all rentals.” Zagster said Tuesday in a statement to its customers nationwide. “We understand that many of you use Zagster for essential functions like commute to work or getting to the stores for supplies, so this was not an easy decision to make.” 

Bike 609, a program started by the Kankakee County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) utilized Zagster bikes, bike stations, and App to fuel the program and community by collecting memberships that also unlocked bikes for access. Zagster says it has no date on when operations would be set to resume due to the pandemic.  

The Cambridge, MA company told the CVB Saturday they would cease services due to the ongoing pandemic.  

No date was set on when they would resume such service.

Zagster said they would be collecting 61 pieces of company property here in Kankakee including bike stations and bikes that are currently in storage since Winter. The CVB says it will not allow the equipment to be returned until $90,000 already collected for the 2020 season has been refunded to the CVB.  

The company has already stated it will not be issuing that money.

Staci Wilken with the CVB reported last summer the Zagster program had 1,183 total active members with 71 annual memberships and 30 student annual memberships tied to the Bike 609 in Kankakee. Annual memberships started at 25 dollars.

A total of 1,082 of those members were pay-as-you-go.

Nationwide, Zagster had a 45% conversion rate for subscriptions following the download of the App. No specific data for location-based metrics had been released by the company to date. 

In March, Zagster issued a safety warning to riders to take precautions when riding their bikes in communities where access remained. These safety tips included disinfecting rented bikes both before and after rides and wearing gloves when on rides.

Shane Saathoff
Shane Saathoff
An active writer for two decades, Shane's focuses on local news and events throughout the area, Shane is an active historian, science nerd, and tech geek. Shane is a native of Bourbonnais, IL, and alumni of Olivet Nazarene University.



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