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Eugene joins bike share trend with 300 public bikes ready for use

(SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Bike share programs are taking off across the country and Eugene is the latest city to join the trend.

Starting this spring, Eugene will have 300 bikes available to the public for riding around town.

The bikes will come complete with eight speeds, solar powered GPS, and even a bell.

"We have a great system of trails and infrastructure bike lanes so having a resource and giving people access to bikes and getting more people on bikes is really exciting," said PeaceHealth Rides general manager Lindsey Howard.

And they're easy to use - riders will be able to sign up online.

After you ride to anywhere in Eugene, you just drop the bike off at another station.

It's a nearly $1.5 million project, with money coming from a Department of Transportation grant and a PeaceHealth sponsorship.

"Getting out and getting the muscles and getting the blood-flow going helps you burn a little bit of energy, burn some calories, and it just improves your overall health," said PeaceHealth Oregon Chief Executive Rand G’Leary.

In addition to promoting a healthy community, it's about accessibility.

"Neighborhoods like Whiteaker are excited to bring customers to their businesses without adding more parking and traffic headaches,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis.

The bikes also add more opportunities for students.

"I'm really excited. I think one of the things that students kind of lack is an easy way to get downtown and out into more exciting things in the Eugene community, be it restaurants or events," said University of Oregon senior Cole Garry.

It's still early on. The plan is to release pricing and membership info in March, and in April, the bikes will be ready to roll.

Once the program gets started, there will be an app and kiosks at the stations.

The plan right now is to have a monthly membership program and a pay-as-you-go option.

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