New bike-sharing program coming to North Lake Tahoe 

Published August 6

A new bike-sharing program is headed to North Lake Tahoe with the Placer County Board of Supervisors today approving an agreement with Zagster for a three-year pilot program in the region.

The program will expand Zagster’s existing partnership with the Truckee Tahoe Airport District in Truckee to Tahoe City and Kings Beach, adding a fleet of 15 for-rent bikes at five planned stations. 

Bike-share differs from daily bike rentals in that its goal is to enable users to move quickly to their destinations and keep bikes for a short period of time. Bike-shares are generally not intended for longer sightseeing rides or exercise, but do allow residents and visitors convenient and affordable ways to get around town without taking a car. 

Bikes can be accessed by paying with a smartphone or purchasing barcodes at local stores. Users then receive an unlock code to put into the on-bike keypad, releasing the bike for their use. After the ride is completed users can park their bikes at a Zagster bike station. Trips under an hour are included with a membership; then users have the option to pay hourly for more use.  

The proposed Tahoe City locations are the Placer County Administration Building, Heritage Plaza and the old firehouse. The Kings Beach locations are the Brook Avenue parking lot and the plaza along state Route 28 at the Coon Street roundabout. Tahoe Truckee Airport District will fund the three Tahoe City stations and Placer County will fund the two Kings Beach stations as well as storing the bikes and stations over the winter. 

Placer County’s expected $41,800 cost for the three-year agreement will be funded by transient occupancy tax collected in eastern Placer County. Two-thirds of bike rental revenues will go to TTAD and one-third will go to Placer County after a 7% administrative fee paid to Zagster. 

By introducing this bike-sharing program to North Lake Tahoe, Placer County hopes to promote active transportation for local trips, cultivate a biking culture and promote the system of existing and planned multi-use paths throughout North Lake Tahoe. Zagster estimates the program could generate between 1,000-5,000 annual rides with an average trip duration of 45 minutes. 

This program is part of Placer County’s larger support for a series of transit pilot projects aimed at reducing congestion and getting people out of their cars by encouraging alternative modes of transportation, such as local transit and biking.

The bikes are expected to be available for use by the end of August.