New Zagster Bike Share Bikes Spotted Near Nats Park

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

Anyone try the new Zagsters out? Where else have you seen them around town?

Zagster’s website says about the bikes:

“Comfortable, safe and easy to ride.

Zagster’s cruiser bicycles feature eight gears, automatic lights, a bell and a handy front basket.

Lightweight
Our standard cruiser is 30% lighter than the typical bike-share bike.

Heavy-duty
Every Zagster bike is custom-built with components that last long and are easy to replace.”

bikeshare_zagster
Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

32 Comment

  • Zagster bikes are also available throughout College Park (in and out of the University of Maryland campus). I thought this was a one-off college-town kind of bikeshare system. I was bummed that it wasn’t cross-compatible with CaBi but was able to shrug it off if it was just College Park. Now it’s spreading? Sucks. Having two different bikeshare systems is pretty sucky unless maybe there’s some shared membership option or something.

    • How and why does it “suck” to have 2 (or more) bikeshare systems? And why should they share memberships? Having multiple bikeshares is good, actually. That’s like saying Uber and Lyft is “pretty sucky.” Options are always better than 1.

      • Except with Uber and Lyft you do not pay for membership, you can choose to use either one at any given time. With two bikeshare systems, you would need to have a membership to both, unless you’re just referring to using either for daily passes.

      • It is 100% worse to have two bikeshare systems b/c then there is less flexibility and functionality. You can’t return a Zagster bike to a CaBi station and vice-versa. So someone can’t use bike share to commute from College Park (or this Nats Park station) to DC. It is completely different than Uber and Lyft.

  • I agree – think it’s crazy to have 2 brands of bikeshare that cannot be used interchangeably.

    If Zagster intends to compete with CapBikeshare, then bike docks will become a visual scourge to DC streets, with docking stations on every single corner and the user having to choose which company works better for their usual routes?. For a bikeshare concept in a small city like DC, I don’t see how competition will improve the offerings for customers.

    I do think, however, that CapitalBikeshare needs to get its act together – the re-balancing is irregular and inadequate; kiosks and docks are not properly maintained; and there are not enough bikes and docks in certain parts of the city – e.g. H St NE where density has picked up.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      You do realize that your second paragraph is basically an argument why having two bikeshare companies is a good things, right?

      • Better CaBi is the obvious solution. It’s not helpful to have bikeshare travel between two neighborhoods prohibitive because one’s bikes can’t be docked in the other neighborhood and vice versa. At least, not if getting people to use bikeshare is your goal.

      • No. CapBikeshare simply needs to get its act together. On a bikeshare concept I don’t think competition is the answer. I am never against competition usually, but in this case the docking stations will become visual blight – much like the proliferation of ugly, noisy and grotty food trucks in DC. Starts off cool but becomes blight .

        • Tsar of Truxton

          When there is no competition, there is no incentive to improve services. If a new company comes in and does what CaBi is doing, but better, then CaBi would be forced to either get better (i.e., “get its act together”) or go out of business. That was the point. You are essentially saying CaBi sucks for a variety of reasons, but competition would be bad because bike stands are ugly(!), which is counter-intuitive.

    • “bike docks will become a visual scourge to DC streets” – no more so than the cars that are on DC streets

  • I’m curious how they ended up in that location. My understanding was zagster wasn’t even trying to compete in the city. Those bikes just aren’t durable was a enough for the frequent use CaBis get.

    I also think college parks decision was a silly waste of money, but that’s another matter.

  • Those bikes are just for the residents of Dock79. They’re not competing with CaBi, they’re an amenity to the building.

    • I suspected this was the case – I work in commercial real estate and amenities like bikes/bike rooms/bike tuneups/etc are becoming more and more popular (almost mandatory for office properties). This is a value add for a landlord at a building to make up for there not being a Capital Bikeshare dock convenient for tenants.

      • I wonder if this was part of a PUD — like if it was partly a way of placating the community if the building was asking for permission to build fewer than the required minimum number of parking spaces.

        • Possibly! Plus from a branding perspective it helps make accessible the downtown/connected/urban amenities developers need to capitalize on for a pretty isolated property.

          • Isolated? It’s a 5 minute walk to the green line and 20 min bike ride to downtown.

          • Anon, I’m not able to reply to you directly, sorry – I’m not implying downtown DC is not accessible from the property, but in terms of everyday life and amenities, this property is a bit isolated. The key to drawing tenants who are willing to pay prices that start at $2,000/month for a studio is convenience – Dock 79 has no natural neighborhood around it, the ballpark is only active a fraction of the time, it’s more than a half-mile to the nearest grocery store, etc. The emergence of bars and restaurants around Yards Park is a definite plus. I’m sure Zagster helps counter any ‘but it’s so far from everything!’ complaints.

          • lol…sorry, MK….I live there and was feeling a bit defensive 🙂 I agree that it does not have the “natural neighborhood” feel I got used to in mount pleasant. however, even not during baseball season, there is always a fair amount of people out and about using the river walk. that will increase as the raw bar and pizza place open up. and regarding amenities, its all there. the harris teeter is a quicker walk for me than when i lived in mount pleasant and needed to walk to the Giant. Also, i LOVE the view of the river we have now. and the pool we’ll have next summer. i promise im not on the payroll lol. as i said…i was feeling a bit defensive. which stems from friends in NW acting like i moved to the moon 🙂

    • Prince Of Petworth

      But what’s the point of a bikeshare system that doesn’t have lots of docks? Like if you just want to ride one way?

      • Andie302

        If it’s true that these are just for residents, then they could buy a lock and treat it just like a bike they owned without the upkeep and storage. I could see that as a nice feature.

      • If you have a longer rental period, you could just lock it up somewhere and ride it bike, as if it were your own bike without actually having any of the hassles of owning your own bike. Like Zagster is to Bikeshare as ZipCar is to Car2Go. The Capitol Hill Hotel has shared bikes for its guests parked outside; I assume this is a similar concept.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          I hear ya. One of the reasons I like bikeshare so much personally is that I can just drop it off and not have to worry about it. But I see some utility here with your explanation – I just think given the moderate price of Cabi Bike Share I’d rather use that one anyway.

      • I live in the neighborhood and was also going to comment that it’s just for the residents of Dock 79. I’ve seen people riding around, and I think they’re basically just checking out the rest of Yards Park and going up and down the Riverwalk (where I found out recently that you’re not allowed to ride your bike on the Navy portion) but not going much beyond the neighborhood. So, in short, they seem to be used more as casual beach cruisers, not alternate transportation.

      • Not sure how exactly these operate with regards to rental periods or any fees, but I’m guessing they are intended to be treated as your own bike that you don’t have to worry about maintaining (as Andie302 has suggested). You probably take it out, look after it while you’re out, and then take it home, rather than leave it anywhere. Less of a bikeshare system, more of a guaranteed means of transportation provided by the building.

  • Looking at the picture, it appears the bikes are secured with a U-lock. Perhaps the condo residents have keys, so don’t even need their own lock, and can thus just use them like a private bike but without the upkeep bother. ‘

    If that’s the case, I’d be happy to have this option if I were a condo owner/renter.

    • I posted how much I liked living at Dock79 a while back and was accused of being a plant for the company. Another reason I like living here. Yes, these bikes are for resident use. Not competing with CaBi, I actually use both for different reasons

  • Residents of Dock 79 download the Zagster app to their phone. The app allows them to generate a number-code, which is then punched-in on the bike’s lock-box sitting on the rear rack. The box pops open to reveal the key to that bike’s u-lock. The resident or their guest then gets two hours of free ride-time.