UPDATE: This article is written by Michael Sznajderman from Alabama NewsCenter. Learn more at: http://alabamanewscenter.com/
Representatives with Birmingham’s soon-to-begin bikeshare program rolled out its name today, which they hope will “Zyp” quickly into broad public awareness in advance of the system’s official launch in September.
REV Birmingham, a nonprofit organization focused on business growth in the city center and in-town neighborhoods, will operate Zyp. In addition to unveiling the brand name, the group today launched Zyp’s Facebook page, and Twitter presence. Zyp also will be on Instagram and has a website.
“Picturing these new bikes as they ‘zyp’ around town, we wanted to establish a brand that embodied not only the bicycle, but the full bikesharing experience,” said the program’s director, Lindsey West, in a news release. “The Zyp design is fun, modern, simple, action-oriented and unique. It really breaks the mold and captures the spirit of Birmingham at the same time.”
The brand design and related platforms were created by Birmingham-based Big Communications.
The bikeshare program is scheduled to debut in mid-September. Individuals will be able to purchase memberships, giving them access to bicycles through a network of 40 stations installed around central Birmingham. All the stations are being fabricated in the Birmingham area. Visitors and others will also be able to check out bicycles by swiping a credit card.
Of the 400 bicycles in the system, 100 will be “pedelecs,” or electric-assist bikes. Birmingham’s is the first public bikeshare system in the United States to incorporate the electric bicycles, which will be charged via solar panels on the stations.
The Alabama Power Foundation is among the key supporters of the bikeshare system, which officials hope will drive additional economic growth downtown, spur tourism and provide health benefits for participants.
REV and city officials are finalizing locations for the stations. Decals on street corners around town identify potential locations, and the public can also weigh in through Zyp’s social media and digital platforms.
The system is being created in partnership with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham and the City of Birmingham. Other major funders include Regions and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.