By Jim Kinney
NORTHAMPTON -- ValleyBike Share, the regional partnership that brought short-term bike rentals to the region this summer, vowed this week to smooth out service issues in 2019.
But despite problems with software and bicycle maintenance -- some users found bikes damaged, or couldn't get them to unlock from docking stations -- users rode ValleyBike Share a total of 88,000 miles in June through November, said Wayne Feiden, a Northampton city planner who heads up the program.
All the ValleyBike Share bikes are shut down now for winter and the program will restart in April. ValleyBike Share will also expand to Easthampton.
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission received $1.3 million in funding from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program in 2017. The planning commission spent $87,000 in state money on feasibility studies and preparation in the preceding two years.
"In the short time since ValleyBike has been in existence residents and visitors of the five founding communities and the University have traveled the equivalent of three and half times around the Earth - something truly worth celebrating as its inaugural season comes to a close," said Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Tim Brennan in a news release.