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Rental bike business: ridership is up in Corpus Christi despite rental scooters

Posted at 10:48 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 15:13:14-05

They’re motorized. They’re easy to ride. They’re everywhere. With 500 rental scooters scattered around Corpus Christi, you might think the rental bike business was drying up. Rental bike company Zagster says, think again.

“We actually have an uptick in ridership this month, in November, compared to last month,” Adam Greenstein, the market manager for Zagster in Corpus Christi said. “Our numbers right now are very consistent with what they’ve been in years past.”

The company says, so far this month, people in Corpus Christi have taken 902 Zagster rides. Compare that to 803 rides last month, when two companies introduced rental scooters in the city, and 860 rides in September. The numbers are down from November of last year when there were 1,004 rides, but Greenstein isn’t concerned that it’s an indication that scooters are gobbling up the marketplace.

“These things are not in direct conflict with one another,” Greenstein said. “You can certainly have both coexisting and thriving side-by-side.”

The City of Corpus Christi, the city’s Regional Transportation Authority, and the Downtown Management District paid a combined $208,000 to Zagster to bring rental bikes to town in August of 2016 for a three-year pilot program. Rental bike ridership numbers, and the impact rental scooters have on them, will likely be taken into account when the city decides whether or not to renew the program in August of next year.

“At the end of the three years we’ll reevaluate and decide if it’s something we want to continue doing,” Jordan Michael, the Downtown Management District Communication and Events Manager said.

People who ride the rental bikes are hopeful that the city will decide to continue the program.

“I think it’s great,” rider Amanda Hoeck said. “I wish there was more funding towards it to be honest.”