The City of Southfield has recently implemented a bike share program through Zagster—giving local residents, students, and business professionals (age 18+) the ability to rent bikes on-demand.

To learn more about the program, we talked with the City of Southfield’s Director of Planning, Terry Croad, who headed this initiative.

What is your involvement with the bike sharing program? 

As Planning Director and Staff Facilitator for the Southfield City Centre, I manage the program on behalf of the City Centre Board.

What motivated the establishment of a bike share program in Southfield? 

One of our goals is to make Southfield a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly place in order to attract and retain (young) professionals, students, residents, and visitors. Providing the bike share program also meets another goal of advancing the city’s economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Zagster was a turn-key product geared towards our size community. It was also the right time with our recent public realm improvements and pedestrian pathway installations, which include more than 12 linear miles of new bike lanes, sidewalks, and shared-use pathways. We also have many pedestrian respite stations (benches and trash receptacles), two bike repair stations, as well as art and wayfinding signage strategically placed throughout the district.

What are the benefits of this program to the community?

Having the bike share program helps us rebrand and become a more sustainable, pedestrian-friendly community. The publicity and goodwill alone has been worth the initial investment!

Who uses this bike sharing program in Southfield?

Primarily LTU students and business employees in the City Centre district. However, residents and visitors have also taken part in the program.

How many bikes are at each stand?

We currently have seven stations with 29 bikes, including a tricycle and a side-by-side tandem bike. Typically, there are three to five bikes per station. We also have one additional station and bikes sponsored independently by a business just outside the district, with interest by a few more.

Are bikes rentals restricted to certain hours? 

No, the bike share program is 24/7. You can rent a bike by the hour, or if you are an annual member, use the bike any time.

What advice do you have for people renting these bikes?

Safety is important—do not look at your phone while riding a bike! Wearing a helmet and being careful when crossing the roads and driveways are critical. To support safety, the bikes come with lights, reflectors, and a bell on the handlebar.

Why do you love this program?

The bike share program helps promote an active lifestyle as well as being fun to use. The first time I rode a bike last year in the district and I felt the wind in my face and rang the bell, I felt like a kid again. It is easy to use and I encourage everyone to try it and they will be hooked.

As the City of Southfield thrives in the excitement of summer, it’s a perfect time to get outside and go for a ride! The bike share program is $25 a year, and student memberships are only $10. To find out more information and register for the bike share program, visit www.zagster.com/southfield.