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Zagster won't resume bike share program in 3 Suffolk villages

An empty Bethpage Ride bike rack at Argyle

An empty Bethpage Ride bike rack at Argyle Park in Babylon village. The bike-share program was launched in September and has been canceled by Boston-based Zagster Inc. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

The operator of the Bethpage Ride bike-share program in the villages of Patchogue, Babylon and Hampton Bays will no longer provide the service due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Zagster recently informed the County that due to the financial impacts of the pandemic on their business, it is unable to continue to provide bike share in Suffolk County,” Marykate Guilfoyle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said in a statement Friday. “While this news is unfortunate, we remain committed to our regional mobility goals and are exploring all options to serve our residents.”

Boston-based Zagster Inc. covers maintenance and operational costs for the bike-share program.

The cancelation of the program comes nearly two months after it was set to relaunch. Bethpage Ride launched in September with 100 orange bikes, and ran until November, when the bicycles were stored away for the winter. The bike-share program, which is modeled after Citi Bike in New York City and named after its sponsor, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, was scheduled to restart April 1 with 17 stations, but it was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guilfoyle said no refunds will be given to the 746 members in the program. Membership costs $10 per month or $60 per year for unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes. The bikes and stations will be fully removed by June 12, Guilfoyle said. 

Robyn Silvestri, a Babylon Village trustee, said it was disappointing to hear the news regarding Zagster.

“We know things are changing with COVID but we hope they can find another provider to continue the service,” Silvestri said. “This was a proven success.”  

Zagster, which did not return a request for comment Friday, said on its website that it does “not currently have a set date we expect to resume operations.” The company is also reportedly ending its services in other states, including Georgia, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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