As Dixie State University continues on the road toward becoming an established institution, a brand new bike-share program is on its way to help students and community members meet health and transportation needs.
In the fall of 2016, St. George Mayor Jon Pike announced the installment of a new bike share program, Zagster, coming to Dixie State University and surrounding areas of then town.
DSU’s Sustainability Club created a start-up bike share program for campus students in 2015, but because of the misuse and stealing of bicycles, the program was discontinued.
Although the Sustainability Club is not spearheading this new bicycle promotion, it’s eager to see how the student service will grow on campus and throughout the community.
“I think we can all agree that [the bike share program] is a good thing,” said Tracey O’Kelly, advisor and committee chair for the Sustainability Club. “I know little about the program…but it’ll benefit the community and [help] students on cost saving [much like] the free rides on the bus system.”
Members involved with the implication of this new program feared that this new commuter gift would be misused by its users, as was the case with the Sustainability Club’s attempt to create a bike share program on campus.
“The bike has a GPS,” said Paul Morris vice president of administration affairs. “You would have to sign up for an account with Zagster so they will know who has the bike… if the bike is registered, [the app] can see who has it.”
The GPS will follow the bike until it is returned back to another bike share station.
Morris said starting this month there will be three bike-share stations in St. George. Two of those stations will be located on campus. One will be near the Student Activity Center and the other will be close to the Campus View Suites just shy of the new Brooks’ Stop Convenient Store and Diner.
The third and final station will be posted just outside the Russell C. Taylor Health Science building by Dixie Regional Medical Center.
Although currently just slabs of concrete, these stations will hold a kiosk with bikes available for students and members of the community to ride.
With a bright white coat and DSU logos pasted on the basket of these bikes, it’ll be hard to miss them.
The DSU logo and Brooks the Bison will be presented on various stations on campus due to the fact DSU is one of the main entities sponsoring the program.
Another sponsor in the bike share program is Intermountain Healthcare, which gives the intention that Zagster is not primarily for transportation but also for the physical health of the community.
“We spend a lot of time studying [as students],” said Morgan Jackson, a junior psychology major from Hanksville. “I think this [bike share] will help students be more active… it’s a chance to get away from the classroom.”
For anyone interested in taking part of the bike-share program, there will be a promotional launch Jan. 11, at the Dixie Convention Center. Starting at 2 p.m., prototypes of the Zagster bicycles will be available for viewing.