The wait is over. After nearly a year since the buzz about bikeshare began, the initiative has finally launched full-force in Birmingham. Thanks to the tremendous support of city officials and corporate sponsors, REV Birmingham’s one-time dream has become a reality.
REV Birmingham will roll out a total of 300 bikes and 30 docking stations by the end of October 2015. The first 25 stations will be unveiled on Wednesday, October 13th during the initial launch phase.
The bikeshare program is called ‘Zyp’ and now, we know why — these bikes are fast! In addition to being able to enjoy firsthand the awesome views of Birmingham and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, Zyp bikes really pack power in every pedal.
According to REV, the bikeshare system includes 100 electric pedal assist bikes, a type of charge that gives riders an extra boost in speed and steering control. This advancement makes Zyp the first public pedelec bikeshare program in North and South America, giving riders an extra push to tackle Birmingham’s challenging terrain.
Zyp bikes are engineered to retain battery life, ensuring that riders can spend the whole day riding with extra battery life still remaining. The smart, pedelec charger quickly goes from empty to full charge. Because they use smart technology, Zyp bikes also have technology that allows them to keep track of where they’ve been. Riders can view previously traveled routes on the web, making it easy to track how much of the city they’ve explored. It can also help you find that coffee shop you passed while riding last week, but can’t seem to remember where it was. Zyp has an app for that.
While riding, you’ll notice the logos of Regions and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama donned on the bike’s frame and wheel jacket. These companies were vital to the development of the project and have led the push for better public transit systems downtown. Other major contributors are the City of Birmingham, the Alabama Power Foundation, and the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
“We support programs that help move Alabama communities forward,” said John Hudson, president of the Alabama Power Foundation. “We believe Zyp will contribute to Birmingham’s ongoing renaissance and help draw more people and business to the city.”
Even Mayor William Bell has said that Zyp is “an investment in the health and well-being of our citizens and our community, providing residents and tourists an alternative way to commute and enjoy the city.”
If you’re tired of the endless parking fees incurred while seeing a Barons game at Regions Field or a concert at the BJCC, Zyp’s pricing may also entice you. Keeping convenience in mind, Zyp’s pricing is based on various levels of membership. For $75, you can purchase an annual membership that allots for unlimited bike rentals, including the first 45 minutes of every ride. If you don’t need to use a bike every day, there are options like the 24-hour pass for $6, or the seven-day pass for $20. The kiosks and bikes are accessible 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
With an annual or temporary membership card, a simple swipe will unlock any bike at the kiosk. If you lose or forget your card, you can view available bikes in real-time and unlock them from the Zyp mobile app. The app’s features also allow you to time your rides, set personal goals and request an alert when you need to dock.
You can start zypin’ around the city by going to www.zypbikeshare.com and purchasing a membership card. Rent bikes by using the mobile app until your physical membership card comes in the mail. For more info or for help with setting up an account, call 1-844-ZYP-BIKE.
Interested riders can sign up for the Zyp BikeShare eNewsletter at www.zypbikeshare.com to receive special offers and more Zyp news. Community members can also stay up to date with Zyp BikeShare developments by following Zyp BikeShare on Facebook and Twitter: @ZYPBHM.