LOGAN – It’s hard to miss the hundreds of orange-colored bicycles on Utah State’s campus, in downtown Logan and scattered throughout the city, but many still don’t know why they are here or how to use them.
They are part of a new bike-share program called Spin. The company is based out of San Francisco, but Joyride Bicycles is helping to manage it locally. Chuck Jenkins, a mechanic at Joyride, helps monitor and maintain the 280 or so bicycles. He said the program is catching on and people are realizing how easy it is to use.
He said to use one, you just have to download the Spin app and save your payment information into your phone. From there, whenever you want to use a bike, you just point your phone and scan the code.
“It just unlocks the bike and off you go,” Jenkins said.
Finding a bike isn’t difficult, either. Each has a GPS locator that is tied with the app. Any bicycle not currently being used will show up as an orange dot on a map in the phone. Joyride mechanic Josh Mouritsen said the bikes can be left anywhere in town, which is different from most bike-share programs.
“That’s what separates Spin from other bike share programs,” he said. “Most of them that you see will have specific docking sections where you ride your bike from here and then you have to put it in a specific location and there would only be a few scattered around a city. With Spin, … once you drop the bike off, they just get left all over the place.”
After parking, the cyclist locks the bike and is no longer charged. Cost is one dollar for each half hour.
In addition to being bike mechanics, Jenkins and Mouritsen also refer to themselves as bike wranglers. They drive around town in a big red van making sure the bikes are spread out, which usually requires taking bikes from downtown and putting them back on campus.
Jenkins said the numbers look promising, that the bike-share program is becoming popular.
“We can go on the app and see how many are rented throughout the day and it is pretty substantial,” he said. “Especially since the weather has been nice. It is easy just to snag a bike and go down to the grocery store or the park or wherever you need to go to.”