Mariah Nichols, Assistant News Editor

Gas prices may be falling, but now Florida Southern College students can cruise around Lakeland with Swan City Cycle, a new bike share service that arrived late last semester.

This bike rental program offers an affordable way for students to travel to and from areas in Downtown Lakeland.

According to Dr. Mary Crowe, associate provost, the bike share program is not meant to compete with the bikes for rent from the Wellness Center.

“The Swan City Cycles bikes have gears, locks and a basket to carry your stuff in,” Crowe said. “There are several stations in Downtown Lakeland to lock up a bike or rent one. There are stations around Dixieland and even Concord Coffee, so students can use them to travel in a manner different from the Wellness center rental process.”

Zagster, a company that operates bike sharing systems nationwide in partnership with colleges, hotels, multi-family residential buildings, and even corporate campuses, has teamed up with the city of Lakeland presenting Swan City Cycle.

This public sharing bike system includes 35 cruiser bikes that are available at seven locations. Each of these locations are fully equipped with ten locking bike slots and
five bikes including a site right on Florida Southern’s campus. Other stations include Dixieland Mall, Polk Museum of Art, The Lakeland Center, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and other locations downtown.

The easiest way to rent a bike through Swan City Cycle is by joining the Zagster mobile app, which is available on both iPhone and Android devices. Riders use this mobile app to enter in the unique I.D. of the bike they choose to ride. After that an access code for the lock box is provided to allow riders to park a bike at a station without the need of a chain and key lock. Riders can use this code to lock and unlock the bike and protect against theft.

Florida Southern recently promoted a deal through the Student Life Announcement e-mails to student .edu addresses that  with the promo code provided they could get a free rental of a bike.

Lacey Hodge, a freshman at FSC, gave an enthusiastic thumb’s up about the new program.

“I think it’s a good idea as long as it’s free and offers good quality bikes,” she said.

Zagster said that being on a college budget can be tough when wanting to go out, but the price of the bikes’ use make it easy and in-expensive for anyone to enjoy.

The cost is $3 per hour. Riders also have the option to get a yearly pass for $25.

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