One Back Bay, one of the most sought-after luxury apartment buildings in Boston, is setting the trend yet again. Related Companies, the developer of One Back Bay, and Zagster, a company that provides bikes-as-a-service, today launched New York City’s first resident-based bike sharing program, making Related Companies the first real estate company to offer a bike sharing program at multiple properties in multiple cities. Bikes will be located initially in 10 of Related’s New York City and Boston properties. Related plans on extending the program to include properties in Chicago and San Francisco.
“Related understands the changing dynamics of today’s urban resident, who is very interested in sustainable, convenient and efficient transportation,” said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. “By offering Zagster, Related can meet their residents’ needs while providing Related a key differentiator in a highly competitive market.”
Each onsite bike contains a bike lock with the key stored inside a lock box. After joining Zagster at www.zagster.com, Related riders will simply text ‘start’ plus the bike number (e.g. ‘start 46’) to a phone number. A confirmation message with the access code for the lock box will be texted back. This action reserves the bike for the remainder of the day or until the bike is returned. Riders will text “end” to the same number to release the bike for the next rider.
Zagster is different from other bike-sharing programs because it is not part of a large public system. The company works directly with customers in a “closed community,” such as residents at different apartment and condo buildings, guests at hotels and students at different universities, which makes their services more exclusive. Once a company like Related partners with them, Zagster manages everything, including ensuring that bikes are always on the properties, the maintenance of bikes, processing payments, etc. This way, property managers like Related get all the benefits for their residents, but none of the hassle. Also, Zagster doesn’t operate with the same type of drop-off/pick-up model as Hubway. Each bike comes with its own flexible lock.
The bike share program continues Related’s foray into groundbreaking advances in sustainability and lifestyle services, including the usage of Green Seal cleaning products and low VOC paints in all of its apartments across the country and integrating one of the world’s finest fitness brands, Equinox Fitness Clubs, into its residential portfolio, as well as becoming the first New York City developer to offer credit card rental payment options to its residents. Related is also committed to building all LEED certified buildings and reducing global carbon emissions by advancing clean energy generation, energy management and energy conservation throughout all of its properties.