ValleyBike Share, the new automated bike sharing program serving five municipalities in the Pioneer Valley, is now in service on campus with approximately 50 pedal-assisted bikes across five stations.
ValleyBike Share promotes short trips by bicycle within core communities where there are clusters of large employers, colleges, shopping and tourist destinations. The system has 500 bikes and 50 stations in the Pioneer Valley.
In addition to UMass Amherst, participating communities are Amherst (five stations), Northampton (14), Springfield (14), Holyoke (nine) and South Hadley (three). Most stations became active during the summer. The system operates 24/7.
All stations lock and charge the bikes and accept membership cards or the program app. “Kiosk” stations also allow a user to register and join ValleyBike as an annual or monthly member, process a credit card transaction, rent a bike hourly or for a day or purchase a “Go Pass.” On campus, only the Haigis Mall station is a kiosk.
The GPS-equipped bicycles offer a battery-powered pedal-assist and a handlebar-mounted storage basket. Users can simply unlock a bike and go by typing in the bike number in the ValleyBike app. Annual members are mailed a key fob that allows them to swipe over the bike to unlock and go. Bikes can be returned to any station, and crews will move them as necessary to “balance” availability.
ValleyBike Share users can sign up for memberships online or at a kiosk for unlimited 45-minute trips by the day, month or year. Riders take as many trips per day as they want, with the first 45 minutes of each included in the membership. Each additional 30 minutes is $2.
A year’s membership is $80; a month’s $20; and a day pass $6. Individual trips may be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis. All bikes must be returned within 24 hours.
Four of the five stations on campus are now operating. They are:
Haigis Mall Station, in front of Herter Hall (a “kiosk” station)
Southwest Station, in the small patio area at Massachusetts and Commonwealth avenues near James Road
Central Residential Area Station, on west side of Greenough Hall
- Knowlton Station, off North Pleasant Street between Worcester DC parking lot and Knowlton PVTA bus stop
The Integrative Learning Center Station, in front of Hasbrouck off North Pleasant Street, is to be operating in early September.
Details are online at www.valleybike.org.
ValleyBike Share is funded with a $1.3 million federal Congested Mitigation and Air Quality grant that was secured by Northampton. The equipment is provided by Bewegen Technologies and maintained by Corps Logistics, a veteran-owned service company.