By Jim Melwert

By Jim Melwert

OAKS, Pa. (CBS) — As Philadelphia gets ready to launch its bike-share program tomorrow, Montgomery County was up-and-running today.

It’s on a much smaller scale, but bicycles can now be rented with a smartphone app along two trails in the county.

The pilot program in Montgomery County calls for six bicycles at each of two docking stations — one in Oaks, at the Lower Perkiomen Valley Park, and the other in Lower Moreland, at the head of the Pennypack Trail.

County commissioners Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh strapped on helmets and became the first customers of the new program, renting bikes from the docking station in Oaks.

 

(County commissioners Josh Shapiro, left, and Val Arkoosh take their newly rented bicycles for a spin.  Photo by Jim Melwert)

(County commissioners Josh Shapiro, left, and Val Arkoosh take their newly rented bicycles for a spin. Photo by Jim Melwert)

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Fellow commissioner Bruce Castor  said the program is another plus for the county.

“It’s not just for the person that doesn’t have a bike, but the person who comes out here and doesn’t feel like packing all their bike equipment here, or the person who gets here and says, ‘You know what, maybe I’ll take a bike instead of walking on the trail,’ ” Castor said.

The bikes are rented through a phone app from a company called Zagster.   They handle maintenance and upkeep.  Rentals are $5 per hour, or $25 for a day, with money used to maintain the bikes.

Company spokeswoman Regan Cleminson says each bike rental comes with a special bike lock:

“You can leave it right in your basket, and the idea with the u-locking technology is you can lock your bike anywhere mid-ride, so if you want to stop for lunch somewhere or use the restroom… whatever occurrences might happen along the way.”

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