WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield now is part of the ValleyBike program, officially opening it up to residents on this Earth Day.

The demand for this program is increasing across the Pioneer Valley, as more people ditch their cars, for electric bikes. Mayor Will Reichelt and Valley Bike leaders cut the ribbon on their new ValleyBike program on Earth Day.

Shannon Bliven, marketing and community outreach coordinator of ValleyBike, told 22News, “Cutting down on traffic mitigation for one thing. The pollution, it’s much better to take a bike.”

ValleyBike offered test rides of their bikes, so Mayor Reichelt took one for a spin. Since it’s an electric bike, you don’t have to pedal too hard for it to accelerate. Their goal is to have more than 700 of them across western Massachusetts.

You can purchase a pass to ride the bikes using the ValleyBike app on your smartphone. The kiosk powers the docks, and after it’s charged, you’re good to ride for an hour and a half.

West Springfield’s charging stations are in front of the public library and on Memorial Avenue. ValleyBike plans to bring its program to Chicopee next.

Edgardo Cancel, manager of operations at ValleyBike told 22News, “These bikes proved to be very helpful during the pandemic. People were riding them in the winter, so starting the spring with a couple of stations opening is very very exciting.”

ValleyBike will launch its program in Chicopee in May, and as to when they’ll resume it in Springfield, that’s up to the city’s health commissioner who’s been keeping a close eye on COVID cases.