With the warm summer months on the way, there’s a new campus option for outdoor exercise or running errands at UM-Dearborn.

The campus has partnered with the bike-share management company Zagster to launch a new bike-share program. The university — and its neighbor The Union at Dearborn — now is home to 15 new two-wheel cruisers.

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The program is complimentary for faculty, staff and students.

Bike-rental stations are available near the University Center, The Union at Dearborn and Fairlane Center. Each station includes five bikes, equipped with a basket to hold riders’ personal items. Each single-speed bike has an adjustable seat, rear and front lights, and an electronic Bluetooth lock.

“There is so much to see and do in our communities, and this initiative is a way to increase micro-mobility and give additional transportation options,” said Marc Anthony Brigolin, business affairs senior manager.

“We wanted to give our UM-Dearborn community a free way to travel across campus and into Dearborn, and give Dearborn residents an additional way to connect with campus.”

Photos of bikes at a bike-sharing station at UM-Dearborn
UM-Dearborn has distributed 15 one-speed bicycles to three locations around the campus as part of a new bike-sharing program. (Photo by Jen Prouty)

Brigolin said the university looked at a variety of bike-share options, but Zagster’s strong connection in the greater community and positive feedback from the city swayed the decision.

The city of Dearborn’s program — which it implemented with Zagster in 2017 — currently includes 55 cruiser bikes available at 11 stations in the east and west Dearborn downtowns. The university’s 15 bikes will work with the existing infrastructure.

Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. said the program has increased transportation opportunities for residents, visitors and students.

“Expanding our mobility options is a way for us to stand out as a community,” he said. “Our bike-share program has been a success and we’re grateful to the University of Michigan-Dearborn for taking part, adding to the important connections we want to make geographically and socially across our town.”

Student Government President Vivien Adams, a junior living in west Dearborn, noticed the city’s bikes last year and wanted to bring the service to campus. She said campus leaders like Brigolin were enthusiastic to find the right bike-sharing option when she approached them with the idea.

Adams, an out-of-state student, said the downtown bikes have helped her experience Dearborn parks, restaurants, community events and more.

“There are so many areas to explore on campus and in Dearborn — like the trails, hidden parks, or mom and pop shops — that we don’t get out and see because we don’t have accessible transportation or because we are locked into commuter thinking,” she said.

“We now have a free enjoyable way that encourages us to get outside and feel more connected to our community and each other. Let’s use it.”

To ride, users should download the Zagster app to their phone and register with their umich.edu email. That campus connection notifies Zagster to waive the standard annual fee.

Then, head to a bike station, select a bike by number and tap the digits into the app to for a unique unlock code. When done, return the bike to a Zagster station in Dearborn or on campus, lock it in place and hit “end ride” in the app.

Zagster reps regularly check the stations and return bikes to the original location to keep distribution as expected.

Rides returned to a station within two hours of check-out are free; riders have no limit to the number of rides they can take each day. There’s a $2-per-hour fee for rides that exceed the two-hour limit.

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