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Pedal Power: GM Shares Bikes With 19,000 Tech Center Employees

WARREN, Mich., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- General Motors' Warren Technical Center is implementing a bike share program – the first of its kind from any U.S. automaker – that will enable its 19,000 employees to commute more easily both on and off campus.

GM is working with Zagster, a private bike sharing company that has developed similar programs for other businesses. Employees can use Zagster bikes stationed throughout the Tech Center to travel between its 61 buildings covering the 330-acre campus.

"GM is investing not only in the long-term health and productivity of its workforce, but sending a strong message to other employers around the country that bike sharing is a mainstream transportation option for employees," said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster.

Posting on GM's internal website OverDrive, engineers and designers expressed enthusiasm for riding bikes at a car company, where walking, driving and timed shuttle buses are the typical ways employees get from one part of campus to another.

"This is an awesome idea," said John Waechter, an engineering group manager at the Tech Center. "I can't wait to quickly get to meetings without walking to a car and finding parking. This is good for exercise, good for on-campus mobility and a nice way to actually learn more about non-auto transportation."

To participate, an employee registers online, then reserves a bike through text message or a smart phone app that provides an access code to unlock the lock box mounted on the bike. Zagster's geofencing technology installed at each bike station, is powered by solar energy panels – an energy feature comparable to the large public bike share systems, and unique to the GM/Zagster partnership. It is also the first private bikeshare system to employ this technology.

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