EDINBURG – City leaders gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the RGV Bike Share station at the McIntyre Promenade to launch the new program.

“We're excited to provide this service to our residents and visitors,” City council member Ricard Molina said. “In this day and age when technology is at the forefront most of everything we do this is a game changer for cyclists.”

The program will allow riders to rent the bicycles through a mobile application at any of the nine locations throughout the city which include Bicentennial Park, five UTRGV locations, South Middle School, Freddy Gonzalez Splash Park and McIntyre Promenade across the fire station.

The app is managed by Zagster, Inc. and will allow users to rent the bike either hourly, daily or annually. Fees are $2 per hour, $15 monthly membership or a $35 annual membership.

The bike share program is a partnership between the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and UTRGV.

Robert Cantu, executive director of Auxiliary Business Services with UTRGV explained the bike share program in the Rio Grande Valley came from an environmental sciences program where students had to research and present on sustainability initiatives.

There were several concepts but the bike share program stood out.

Last year UTRGV partnered with the City of Brownsville and the City of Harlingen for the first regional bike share program.

“We're excited that the City of Edinburg has joined us in this cooperative effort,” Cantu said. “Edinburg has experienced tremendous growth, this bike share program is an amenity that singles how serious the city is to improve the quality of life.”

One of the university's goals was to create a multifaceted transportation system to meet the needs of the students, faculty and staff.

Cantu said this goes beyond basic bus transportation and as UTRGV grows there needs to be a menu of services that is flexible, adaptable and tailored to the different demands placed on it by its communities.

Bike Share RGV has been successful according to several metrics. In the first four months over 3,400 trips have been provided, more than 2.3 million calories have been burned and over four tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been prevented.

“Obviously these are tremendous impacts but we think more importantly are the benefits of quality of life,” Cantu said. “Bike share provides an important new option for exercise and recreation, it introduces a green source of transportation and we expect the City of Edinburg will add positively to these numbers.”