Bike share at Harry Griffith Hall. Photo credit: Andre Hascall

They see me rollin’

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By | Andre Hascall

This past week, seemingly overnight, HSU is offering a bikeshare system via Zagster. Zagster was founded in 2007 in Massachusetts, and it operates bike-sharing programs at universities and other locations.

Transportation is always a hot-button issue on any college campus. Thanks to a generous donation from a former Humboldt State, Zoology professor we may have a solution.

Of course everything costs money so one might wonder how this was affordable. Steve Bagley, an associate director with the office of philanthropy, had some insight on how the bike share program was funded.

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Zagster Bike Share at the bottom of the Jolly Giant Commons. Photo credit: Andre Hascall

“He gave around $30,000 when he died to fund a few stations,” Bagley said. “That guy Manuel C. Kaster only rode a bike, real simple life.”

Manuel Chernoff Kaster, more commonly known around Humboldt as Manny, donated $31,684 just weeks before passing away in May 2017. Manny was known for his simple life, his house in the woods and his fondness for bikes.

In a time where ride sharing operations are all the rage, this is just another way for students and community members to get around. Of all the ride sharing programs available in Arcata, Zagster is the most environmentally friendly.

Third year psychology student, JT Gibson noted that Zagster’s competitors offer quicker transportation.

“They are going to have to compete with Lyft and Uber,” Gibson said. “There was already Zipcar, it might be better if people got their own bikes.”

Zagster offers their services for two dollars an hour. If you get the $20 annual membership, the first hour of every trip is free. After the first hour, any extra hours will cost you two dollars.

Uber or Lyft could cost you around eight dollars for a mile long ride. Zipcar gets more expensive, with a $25 initiation fee, a $70 annual fee and $7.50 per hour.

Currently, similar to Zip Cars ride sharing service, Zagster is only located at HSU. One student, a third year international studies major, Jordan Schmidt, would like to see that change in the future.

“I think it’s cool but it’d be cooler if they were off-campus too, like at bus stops,” Schmidt said. “That way we could get to and from campus easier.”

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