Bike share programs have exploded — setting a record high of 1 million bikes share bikes cruising city streets across America.
Make that 1,000,060 now that Kent and Kent State’s bike share program is officially open for business.
That’s a lot of bikes and I hope it speaks to the growing popularity of healthy transportation options. Downtown Kent’s parking deck has bike lockers on the ground floor for that reason.
Now we’re taking it one step further and if you don’t have your own bike to lock up, you can rent one of the bike share bikes and peddle to your heart’s content.
Kent’s FlashFleet bike share program was born on the KSU campus but with so much travel between campus and downtown — putting a bike share station downtown made perfect sense.
The downtown bike share station is located near the intersection of Erie Street and Haymaker Parkway across from the Esplanade — between the KSU Hotel/Conference Center and the PARTA parking deck. If you know where the Veterans Memorial is on Erie Street, you can’t miss the new bike docking station right next to it.
KSU embraced the bike share movement early on, buying their own bikes and making them available for rent to students. The popularity of the program made them realize they were on to something so they made the jump to what they proudly refer to as the “3rd generation” bikes which include all kinds of bells and whistles that come from computer connectivity and bike tracking.
Here’s a break down of the pricing from the KSU Rec Center web site:
The Rec Center web page offers simple explanation for how to get started that I’ve copied below:
How It Works
How to Register
Four ways to sign up using your credit or debit card:
- At a Flashfleet kiosk
- On the nextbike mobile app available for download on Google Play, iTunes App store, or the Windows Phone Store.
- Using the online form above
- By calling 330-474-0785330-474-0785
Ways to Rent
- Smartphone app
- On-board computer
- Flashfleet kiosk at Risman Plaza or downtown Kent
- Calling customer service at 330-474-0785330-474-0785
During the Ride
- Remove cable from bike fork and secure it in the basket holder
- During the rental, park temporarily by using the cable lock on any bike dock
- Until the bike is returned to a Flashfleet dock, rental time will continue to accrue
- To unlock the bike again, enter unlock code into the on-board computer
- Ride your bike anywhere though campus and downtown Kent. Should you need to take a quick stop during your rental, you may temporarily lock the bike outside of the official stations using the cable lock.
- Be sure to keep track of your time. Until your bike is returned to an official station, time will continue to count against your time limit and your account will be charged.
- Return bikes to any Flashfleet station or kiosk.
- Insert the bike into the dock, lock it with the cable lock and confirm the return via the on-board computer.
- At docking station: push the front wheel of the bike into the dock and lock basket lock through dock into bike.
- If station is full: lock bike to itself through the front wheel with cable lock and leave it next to the station.Feel free to call customer service to return
- Feel free to call customer service to return or confirm return at: 330-474-0785330-474-0785
- Calling 330-474-0785330-474-0785
- Via the nextbike mobile app
- Emailing Flash_Fleet@kent.edu