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Eugene Bike Share Program Is Eco-Friendly Option For "Essential Trips"

Tiffany Eckert

Just before Earth Day-- two years ago-- a popular bike share program launched in Eugene. The idea for PeaceHealth Rides was to provide active forms of transportation while improving the environment. Supporters say—it works.

Since its inception, more than 21,000 people have taken bike share instead of cars. That has cut carbon emissions and saved a lot of gas (over 21,000 gallons.)   

When the COVID-19 crisis hit and "Stay at Home" orders were enacted, Bike Share was allowed to keep operating—but only for essential trips.General Manager Lindsay Hayward:

"Ridership is significantly down. Typically this time of year we get around 900 trips and we’re consistently seeing just round 150 to 200 trips per day," Hayward said. "Which in this case is a good thing. That means people are staying home.”

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Lindsay Hayward is General Manager of PeaceHealth Rides, Eugene's bike share program. It launched two years ago.

Hayward says since the shut down, there has been an increase in new ridership. And when a person takes out a bike, they go about 5 times the distance of a typical trip.

Credit Tiffany Eckert
PeaceHealth Rides has 300 bikes in 400 fleet stations throughout Eugene.

The recognizable blue “smart" bikes are parked at 400 stations all over town. She says fleet team staff sanitize bikes daily but  each new rider is asked to wear gloves or wipe down the handle bars after a trip.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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