U of M Program Gives Bikers Incentives to Ride
Tyler Lillemo loves to ride his bike to school. Enticing him to put foot to pedal is the University of Minnesota's ZAP Bike Commuting Program.
"It's been good, usually get one zap a day, so I'm up to 10 now," Lillemo said.
The program is a way to reward people for riding their bikes to school or work.
Riders register online and then attach a small tag to the spokes of their front wheels. There are 20 ZAP stations on campus, 9 in downtown Minneapolis and 7 in downtown St. Paul. As soon as they ride by a ZAP station they will hear a beep if they've been read.
Steve Sanders who works with the program says, the riders then can track their data online.
"They have a personal web page that shows their calendar, the days they've commuted, the calories they've burned, the CO2 they've saved from going into the atmosphere," Sanders said.
Riders earn prizes and rewards by accumulating points from the amount of riding they do.
Students can earn gift cards, t-shirts and bike parts. School employees can earn reductions in their health insurance premiums.
Right now, more than 1,600 people are on the program. It is an adventure that has inspired people to ride.
"I'm not really that interested in the prizes, I guess. It's just cool getting zapped," Ryan Cotten said.
Interested in participating in the program? Visit Commuter Connection if you live in Minneapolis, or St. Paul Smart Trips if you live in St. Paul.