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Aug 14, 2019 11:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Zagster To Bring Bike Share Program To Hampton Bays

Southampton Town Board members voted on Tuesday to allow Zagster to provide a bike share program in Hampton Bays. GREG WEHNER
Aug 14, 2019 11:22 AM

Southampton Town Board members narrowly approved an agreement on Tuesday that will allow Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zagster to provide a bike share program in Hampton Bays.

The vote to approve the service was split, with Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Town Board members John Bouvier and Tommy John Schiavoni voting in favor of the service, while Town Board members Christine Scalera and Julie Lofstad voted against it.

The program is expected to launch in Hampton Bays by the end of August.

Zagster’s service allows riders to download an application to their cellphones and set up an account with a payment method, which allows a rider to unlock a bike. Once set up, riders can check out bikes at the rate of $1 for every 15 minutes. Monthly and yearly plans are available from the company, costing riders $10 or $60, respectively.

The town plans to have bike racks with bicycles placed near the Hampton Bays Long Island Rail Road station, Good Ground Park, Ponquogue Beach, Tiana Beach and Road H near the Shinnecock Inlet. Road H is owned by the Town Trustees, which approved its use for the bike share program.

Suffolk County and the town are partnering to provide the service through Zagster, and it comes at no cost to the town. In fact, Zagster also is responsible for insurance costs, so the town cannot be held liable if anyone were to get hurt on any of the bikes.

Chris Dimon, the co-owner of Pedalshare — another bike share company, one that is based on the East End — raised concerns about the town entering into an agreement with a company that is not local.

The Town Board held a work session with Mr. Dimon on August 8 to discuss the program and the town’s options going forward. Ultimately, the board decided to still go with Zagster.

Just before the board voted to approve the measure during its board meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Schneiderman said Zagster would be permitted to place bike racks only at town-owned facilities in Hampton Bays. The agreement is for two years, and will allow the town to monitor what does and does not work.

He also said going forward, the town may offer bike share programs in other hamlets, like East Quogue and Bridgehampton. In those cases, the town would open the process up to local bidders, who could provide the same, or similar, service as Zagster.

Ms. Scalera said she could not support entering into an agreement with Zagster when the town is looking to create an overlay district in Hampton Bays that focuses on local businesses.

“Zagster is a big fish … in a little pond,” Ms. Lofstad said. She added that the town needs to promote small businesses, and her concern is that after two years, local bicycle shops could be “severely impacted.”

Mr. Bouvier, however, said the program creates a synergy that will help encourage bicycling, and that he felt it would actually help the local businesses.

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Why is the town so anti local and business all together. No restaurant at Jackson marina and now no local bike company. What the board not know new owners of Jackson’s or the local guys already renting bikes in Southampton village and Westhampton not offering the board free rental.
By coolref (11), East End on Aug 14, 19 12:50 PM
I hope the Town and Zagster's liability insurance is fully paid up and covers bike/car/pedestrian accidents. It is reckless for the Administration to put bikes on the road with no bike lanes or the 10" broken ones along Squiretown Road.
As a pedestrian, bikes are constantly on the sidewalks and I often need to quickly move out of the way and have fallen a few times on the uneven sidewalks and grassy areas. . I hope the bikes are well marked so I know who to sue when I am hit by one of them.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 19 12:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
G.A. Lombardi I’ve noticed you’re always pessimistic towards something new and innovative. Give something the opportunity to succeed before immediately shooting it down.
By HB2NYC (6), Manhattan on Aug 14, 19 2:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
I think that she's pointing out the (sad) humor of the situation - the town allows a bike sharing program in HB yet puts no effort in to creating safe biking lanes or sidewalks that can accommodate both walkers and bikers. So accidents are inevitable.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Aug 14, 19 2:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
I spent 32 years in corporate america spending time peeling back the layers of the onion for many initiatives and multi million dollar deals. I know what is supposed to happen. You don't implement a "good idea" - you evaluate the pros and cons and costs and benefits and make a educated decision - not throw the spaghetti against the ceiling and see it it sticks. This administration and Town Board repeated DOES NOT DO THEIR HOMEWORK and waste time and money and put the residents and taxpayers in ...more
Aug 14, 19 5:34 PM appended by G.A.Lombardi
this is to HB2NYC and craigcat who is running for the Town Board I believe.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 19 5:34 PM
Yes, that is what I meant. THX
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 19 7:11 PM
Kudos to Christine and Julie for not drinking the Kool aid. Bringing in an out of state company that provides a service that local entrepreneurs can also provide makes me wonder if they care about locals at all. So SHT entered into a contract with the company Suffolk County did? And wasn’t Jay previously a county legislator? HMM...

Julie’s vote shows that she is finally becoming her own council person.

And the comment that the next Hamlet to get bikes will be an open ...more
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Aug 14, 19 2:50 PM
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So how does this impact the bike rental business of the bike shop behind Krieg's Bakery, a local business, operated by local people? Any consideration for them?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 14, 19 3:09 PM
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This is also my only concern here. The roads from the railroad to the beach can handle the bikes. I ride my bike all the time and you don't need dedicated bike lanes all over the place - what you do need are people to learn that you bike with traffic and you walk and run against traffic. Too many people out there in la-la land. Town should have worked with the local bike shop, they pay rent, etc.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 19 7:59 PM
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I agree about the Bike Shop, but I bumped into a couple on Squiretown Road that were looking to rent bikes and he was closed. I don't know his hours or availability. You would think/hope the Town Board would have worked with him on this. I don't agree about the bike safety unless you are an experienced bike rider in traffic. Look at all the accidents in NYC with the increase in bike use. There are too many trucks on the main roads and Dune Road is very hazardous on the shoulder. The roads ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 19 7:08 AM
First off, bike rental and bike share are two completely different things. Having been all over the Country where other Cities have bike and scooter share systems, they are extremely valuable services. Hampton Bays or The Hamptons in general is not suited for bicycle transportation. Rented, shared, owned, or stolen... There is simply no room for bikes on these narrow roads with no shoulders. Bike share programs are geared toward short commuting in urban areas not rural roads.
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Aug 14, 19 6:54 PM
I agree - the Town needed to invest in meaningful bike and pedestrian paths north south from Main Street along Ponquogue and Springville to the beach and east west from CPI to Wild by Nature first. They have closed some gaps along Ponquogue and along Argonne and to RBS/Macy's which is very useful for those of us that actually walk. This Board seems to want to lead by press release without doing any of the real work.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 19 7:20 PM
Does this mean bikes are going to dumped all over town as in other bike sharing areas? If so terrific, Hampton Bays well on its way to becoming an urban nightmare
By joeg (31), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 19 11:02 AM
I think it's outrageous that you need to get permission from the town to share bicycles
By HB90 (164), southampton on Aug 17, 19 8:06 AM
If there is no demand for it then it will fail. If there is a demand it will thrive. Why does everyone think they're the ones who should decide this service is needed here?
By HB90 (164), southampton on Aug 17, 19 8:08 AM
1 member liked this comment