University of Central Arkansas President Houston Davis, UCA mascot Sugar Bear and Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry jumped on the new Zagster Bikes at UCA and took off in a race during a launch party Thursday to celebrate the new addition to campus.

The event was hosted by the Student Government Association, instrumental in bringing the initiative, which falls under the original city of Conway’s Bike Share initiative, to the UCA campus.

“SGA is incredibly excited to partner with the university and the city of Conway to provide [this] service to students,” Spencer Burton, SGA sophomore class vice president, said. “It’s about providing convenient modes of transportation for our students on and off campus and [being] environmentally friendly and [creating] a bike culture on campus.”

He said the idea came to them around four or so months ago and SGA members worked with the UCA leadership to bring the initiative to the campus community.

The Zagster Bike Share Stations are located at the student center, Mashburn Hall, Win Thompson Hall, Bear Village and between Lewis Science Center and the Conway Corp Center for Sciences buildings.

To use the program, users need to download the Zagster application first and then can purchase an annual membership to ride the bikes or just pay by the hour.

“UCA is dedicated to providing an exceptional education and a rich student experience, and we also want to be great community partners,” Davis said in a news release. “This Bike Share initiative gives us both. Our program integrates with the existing Conway Bike Share Program, which means students can hop on a bike at UCA and drop it off at any Zagster location in Conway.”

The original initiative was brought to Conway May 2017.

The five other Conway locations to rent the bikes are on Tyler Street at the Kinley Trailhead, Salem Road at the Kinley Trailhead, Conway Station Park on Robins Street, Simon Park in downtown Conway and Rogers Plaza next to the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce.

“UCA’s partnership is growing the current program by 150 percent, which is very exciting to me,” Finley Vinson, director and city engineer, said. “This day marks the expansion of Conway’s Bike Share program from its humble beginnings as a recreational program into a true system of transportation for UCA students and the entire community.”