Anything that encourages commuting by bicycle is a good thing, right? That’s what’s behind the ZAP Twin Cities program, according to Andrew Rankin of the Commuter Connection program. Minneapolis and St. Paul are the first cities in the country to try this, and it will be running in mid-August after the beta-testing period is complete.
Attach a small tracking device to your bike and ride next to a ZAP Reader on your daily commute. Your device will record your presence and give you mileage credit. You don’t have to stop, simply ride within 15-20 feet of the device to get your tag "zapped."
You have to get your tag at public event, and you’ll need to have your bike with you. (There’s quality control element here: The staff will attach it to your bike so that tags aren’t just attached to your car keychain.)
According to Rankin, they placed the nine initial zap stations at the busiest thoroughfares in Minneapolis, using the city's bicycle count data to determine the busiest areas. This won't address all commuting routes, but with the initial rollout, they had to pick their spots.
When future funding is secured they will expand the program. The initial rollout has nine stations downtown, 20 at the University of Minnesota, and seven in downtown St. Paul.
You only get one zap per day, so do it in your morning or afternoon commute.
10 rides gets you an initial prize, with monthly drawings thereafter.
Look for an official announcement from Commuter Connection in the coming weeks. Right now they are testing all the stations, and finishing the final details.
Bike near this station as you commute into downtown Minneapolis to get credit for your ride.