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Downtown Springfield could soon be added to Eugene PeaceHealth Bike Share system

PeaceHealth Rides might be available in downtown Springfield if the city council approves a new pilot.
Karen Richards
PeaceHealth Rides might be available in downtown Springfield if the city council approves a new pilot.

Eugene’s PeaceHealth Bike Share program could soon expand to downtown Springfield.

Springfield leaders hope doing so would create a connection to the University of Oregon and could encourage visits. Right now, users are penalized for leaving bikes outside the official rideshare area, said Andrew Larson, transportation planner for the city of Springfield.

“There is data that shows that there are anywhere between 50 to 75 trips during summer months through Springfield,” Larson said, “but those trips cannot stop here without being charged $25.”

If City Council approves a three year pilot, Springfield would be allocated 25 bikes and riders would be able to leave bikes downtown without a fee.

Springfield city staff had initially proposed 100 bikes but scaled down the pilot after several council members raised concerns about costs.

During a city council meeting Monday, Mayor Sean VanGordon said he plans to support the scaled down plan, but would like to see regular reports on how many people are using bike share in Springfield.

“When we’ve got businesses downtown saying this helps them do business, that’s a good thing.” he said. “And if it makes it easier for people to get to Springfield and spend money, that’s a good thing.”

City Council President Joe Pishioneri said he still has concerns about cost and financial sustainability, saying numbers from the city of Eugene show the program costs more than it brings in from user fees.

Springfield’s share of the expansion is $16,558. The city of Eugene is also increasing its number of bikes. Eugene, Lane Transit District, and some outside groups and private sponsors are sharing the cost of increasing bike share access.

Larson said the bike share expansion pilot will go to a formal city council vote in April. He said Cascadia Mobility, the nonprofit that operates bike share, could roll out the program later that month.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.