UMass Amherst, along with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) and the cities of Springfield, Holyoke and Northampton and the Town of Amherst have committed to a pilot regional bike share program. The pilot program, tentatively named ValleyBike, will establish a regional, automated bike sharing program across the Pioneer Valley.
Campus sustainability manager Ezra Small, along with community representatives, participated in a PVPC regional bike share feasibility study in 2015. He says the new bike share pilot will be a unique feature for the Pioneer Valley.
“This will be one of the first regional bike shares that spans multiple communities throughout an entire region. It will be ground-breaking.” He also notes that the bike share will have a cultural and environmental impact. “This will benefit people across a social economic spectrum and also reduce emissions.”
The proposed phase one of the bike share includes 26 bike share stations and 234 bikes available in the participating locales. The program will initially begin with the Northampton and Amherst.
The regional bike share is currently seeking support both from sponsors and federal grant funds to purchase equipment and cover annual operational costs.
The campus already offers students the ability to rent a bike with their UCards from the Student Union. The campus also offers a variety of other alternative transportation options including access to buses, car share programs, and promotion of commuter bicycling.
For more information on ValleyBike, visit www.pvpc.org/regionalbikeshare