Stamford Advocate - 11.16.21 - STAMFORD — A downtown Stamford office complex has brought back bike share services after more than a year without it.
Stamford Towers on Thursday filled its docks once more with 10 new bicycles operated by Iowa-based start-up Koloni, according to property manager Lisa Iannelli-Winkler. The company specializes in bringing bikes and scooters to smaller communities typically left behind by the bike-sharing boom.
“We didn’t have the bikes for much of the pandemic, mostly because the company we used went out of business,” Iannelli-Winkler said. Washington Boulevard ran a bike-share starting in 2017 through the start-up Zagster, but the company pulled its bikes in March 2020.
But some of those same bikes are still part of Stamford Towers’ fleet through its contract with Koloni, company founder Brian Dewey said. Especially in communities where previous micro-mobility services have attempted to grow roots, Koloni said, it buys bikes other operators were using and repurposes them at a “really, really low cost,” Dewey explained.
The company has also acquired bikes once operated by the micro-mobility company Spin, which shuttered its bike operations and now only operates electric scooters. Koloni also runs bike share programs in Evanston, Ill.; La Crosse, Wisc.; and its home base: Pocahontas, Iowa.
The former Zagster bikes are back on Stamford streets as a result, along with some new additions. The updated Stamford Towers bike share includes six standard and four “pedal-assisted” electric bicycles, according to both Iannelli-Winkler and Dewey.
Koloni also takes a “land and expand” approach to building its bike network in a new community, mainly because it prefers to contract with individual companies instead of municipal government.
Dewey said that Stamford Towers is its only local partner so far.
Interim Traffic Bureau Chief Frank Petise added that no other company has recently contacted the city to establish micro-mobility services.
Riders can access Koloni’s bikes through its mobile app for Android and iOS and can start their rides by scanning one of the unique QR codes on each bike. Bikes must be returned to the bike dock at 680 and 750 Washington Blvd. at the end of every ride.