In the News Home
The original item was published from 12/11/2018 1:13:43 PM to 2/2/2019 12:20:06 AM.

In the News - News & Announcements

Posted on: December 11, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Valley Bike Share Program Wraps Up First Season

VB logo

Staff Writer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette (published 12/10/18)

ValleyBike project manager and Northampton Director of Planning and Sustainability Wayne Feiden said that miles traveled this season exceeded expectations, although membership figures fell somewhat short of original hopes.

The electric-assist bike share program launched in June and has stations in Northampton, Amherst, South Hadley, Holyoke and Springfield, and will also expand to Easthampton in June 2019.

“We’ve been really happy the system seems to keep growing,” Feiden said. “There seems to be more demand.”

The program saw 1,173 all-time members, 883 active members and 6,305 occasional members.

Active members hold an ongoing annual membership, founding membership or “go pass,” which charges $2 per ride after a $5 registration fee. Regular memberships are offered on a yearly basis, while occasional members can sign up for a monthly membership, single-trip pass, day pass or go pass.

The stations closed on Nov. 30 and will reopen on April 1.

Of the 50 stations initially slated to open this season, 47 were ready for use, providing 470 bikes. The remaining three stations should be set to open next season, Feiden said, in addition to four new stations in Easthampton, bringing next season’s anticipated total to 54 stations stocked with 540 bikes.

Stations in Northampton, UMass Amherst, and the downtown Springfield area have seen the heaviest use, according to Feiden.

The program launched with a variety of pricing and usage options, ranging from a $90 annual founding membership to a $2 single-trip pass. Bikes may be checked out and returned to any station within the ValleyBike system.  The average ride lasts for about 2 miles, Feiden said, which is around the national average for electric-assist bike shares. Non-electric-assist bike shares see approximately 1-mile rides on average.  The electric-assist bikes were chosen for the program to make it easier for users to travel longer distances, Feiden said, noting that this feature also increases accessibility for older users and less experienced cyclists. While non-electric-assist bikes require greater physical exertion, the longer average distance traveled with electric-assist bikes works out to more exercise overall, according to Feiden.

In addition to the health benefits of biking, Feiden said the program aims to create more transportation options for low-income communities and reduce the greenhouse emissions associated with motor vehicles.  Although each community has also seen cyclists take trips longer than the average, with a Northampton-to-Amherst ride “used somewhat heavily,” Feiden said the system was mainly designed to accommodate shorter trips.

“These bikes are 75-pound, heavy bikes,” he added. “If you want to go a mile or two, great. But if you want to take a bike out for the entire day, you’re better off using the bike in your basement for that.”

Feiden said he hopes the bikes will eventually be available year-round, although this development is “probably four or five years out.”

“Our higher priority is extending the bikes out… We’d like to have additional towns, we’d like to get additional sponsors,” Feiden said, highlighting towns that border other ValleyBike communities, such as Hadley and Chicopee, as potential areas for expansion.

ValleyBike will still be ironing out some maintenance issues over its off-season, Feiden said, with damages most prominently arising from kids sitting in baskets and breaking them. However, the bikes should all be ready by next season.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at  For more information about ValleyBike, contact Customer Service at (833) 825-2453 or go to

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in - News & Announcements


Big Night 2024 in Amherst!

Posted on: February 27, 2024

The Kindness Campaign

Posted on: February 23, 2024

Commemoration of the Tibetan Uprising

Posted on: February 20, 2024
Graphic of a microphone with words town of Amherst public hearing in white font below


Posted on: February 16, 2024
In the News item for watchilla and malloy Express your opinions on Town of Amherst Recreation and Op

Recreation and Open Space Survey

Posted on: February 7, 2024
Option 1 Announcing Online Sustainability Dashboard

Town of Amherst Sustainability Dashboard

Posted on: February 1, 2024
Veterans Breakfast Announcement

Veterans Community Breakfast - For All!

Posted on: January 22, 2024 | Last Modified on: May 1, 2023
tax exemption in the news item 2024

Want to shrink your tax bill?

Posted on: January 4, 2024