Eugene Bike Share

Update: Social Bicycles has been contracted to provide equipment and operational services for Eugene Bike Share.

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INTRODUCTION
The City of Eugene and partner agencies Lane Transit District and University of Oregon, have contracted Social Bikes to deliver bike share equipment and operations for Eugene Bike Share.

Social Bikes is a leader in the development of “smart bike” technology that allows bike share bikes to be parked at any location within the service district.  Social Bikes is currently operating in 18 locations in North America including the recently launched BIKETOWN system in Portland, OR.

The city is interested in transportation solutions like bike share because it provides a transportation option that utilizes existing infrastructure, helps to reduce the burning of fossil fuels for urban trips, and implements city plans and policies including the Climate Recovery Ordinance and the Transportation Systems Plan.

Bike share users will be able to choose a membership plan that best suits their needs including one-time, monthly, and annual memberships.  There may also be group pass options for large employers.


WHAT IS BIKE SHARE?


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Bike share is an innovative transportation program, whereby system subscribers have access to bicycles through self-service kiosk locations throughout the community. The system is accessed through low-cost subscriptions ranging from a few dollars for one-day to annual memberships that in other communities generally cost between $60 and $100 per year.
Characteristics of a bike share program:
  • It is oriented to short-term, point-to-point use.
  • Most rides are only around 15-20 minutes and 1-3 miles.
  • The bicycle can be returned to any number of self-serve bike share stations, including the original check out location.  "Smart Bikes" can also be locked in any area that contains a "geo-fence" such as special events sites like Ducks football games.
  • Generally, the bicycles are one style and easy to operate with simple components and adjustable seats.
  • The rental transaction is fully automated and there is no need for on-site staff.

Why bike share?
  • Reduction of personal transportation and health care costs (these items make up over 22% of average U.S. household spending).
  • Reduction in car-related carbon emissions (e.g. Denver B-cycle helped avoid 729,783 lbs of CO2 in 2011).
  • Healthy commuting alternative (30 minutes of daily exercise can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease).
  • Strengthen economic development and increase economic activity (77% of Deco Bike users in Miami were more likely to patronize a business with a bike share station close-by).
  • It provides first-mile and last-mile connections to transit and can also help relieve the pressure on over-capacity transit lines during peak hours.

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Would bike share work in Eugene?
Likely, yes. The City of Eugene and Lane Transit District (LTD) developed a bike share feasibility study in 2013. The reported concluded that the City of Eugene was a good candidate for bike share.

For more information see the Eugene Bike Share Feasibility Study linked below. These are large files that may require considerable time to download.
Eugene Bike Share Feasibility Study Final Report 
(10.1MB)
Eugene Bike Share Feasibility Study Appendices (15.4MB)

How much will bike share cost to use?
A variety of pricing structures will be considered (single-ride, daily, monthly, etc.) as the system gets closer to launch.  For an example of fees, see BIKETOWNpdx for pricing structures in Portland, OR.

What forms of payment are accepted?
Most U.S. systems require a credit or debit card to become a member and check out a bike. This helps make riders more accountable for all ridership costs and prevents theft. Since this issue has presented some barriers for people who don’t have access to a credit or debit card, various systems around the U.S. have been implementing pilot programs to make their services more accessible. Social Bikes and regional partners will be evaluating different options to make bike sharing available to everyone.

How big will the bike share system be?
At build out, the feasibility study recommends a bike share system with 420 bikes, 46 stations, and 756 docks over 5 phases.  This system size reflects national best practices related to bike station density, coverage area, and optimal bikes per station to ensure system reliability.  

Phases one and two of the recommended system will launch with 35 stations and 300 bikes in 2017.

Are theft and vandalism major concerns?
Existing bike sharing systems are built with security mechanisms that help deter theft or vandalism while withstanding year-round weather conditions. To this end, users must use a credit or debit card or their membership key to check out a bike, which creates user accountability. In a recent study, all existing systems reported less than 1% of bicycles vandalized or stolen.

Social Bikes utilize proprietary parts, including bolts, that resist theft.  The bikes also feature real-time GPS so that bikes can be tracked and found if determined to be missing or stolen.

Who will operate the bike share system?
Social Bikes will operate the bike share system.  An advisory board that includes regional partners (City of Eugene, Lane Transit District, University of Oregon) will meet quarterly to discuss operations and performance of the bike share system.

How is the system funded?
On March 19, 2015 the Oregon Transportation Commission approved the City of Eugene's grant request of $909,066 to create a bike share system in Eugene.  An additional $193,000 was transferred from the University of Oregon (Associated Students of the University of Oregon) to the city to ensure provision of bike share stations on the UO campus.  Operations are primarily funded through a combination of user fees and sponsorship contracts.


I like it!  When can I expect to ride a bike share bike in Eugene?
Soon!  The City of Eugene's contract with the State of Oregon requires launch of the bike share system on or before October 31, 2017.  Once sponsorship is secured for operations, the bike share system can launch at any point before this date.

Read more about bike sharing: