Thursday, October 1, 2009
What is Zot?
North America's second high-tech (3rd generation) university bike-sharing program will be launching at the University of California - Irvine on October 9. Called ZotWheels, this bike-sharing service will offer 25 bikes at four stations on campus. An annual membership fee of $40 will allow students to check out a bike for up to 3 hours using an RFID card.
The program's name is unique, as all bike-sharing programs' names are, but what is a "Zot"? Lynn Harris of the University's Parking and Transportation Services Department, which is offering the bike transit service, reports, "The University opened in 1965 and the BC comic strip was popular at that time. There was an anteater in the strip that would make the 'zot' sound every time it ate an ant. The student body voted the anteater in as mascot, and hence the 'Zot' became linked with us."
The bike-sharing system, called Ecotrip, was created by a partnership of Collegiate Bicycle Company and Central Specialties, Ltd. with input from U.C. - Irvine.
It's great to see a second university taking the bold step to launch a 3rd generation bike-sharing service. U.C. Irvine is taking a small step here with four stations, but already has plans to expand. I'm sure all anteaters are proud.
Update: Here's a video from KABC-TV from Los Angeles.
image credit: University of California - Irvine