NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – With spring in full effect, you may have noticed several Valleybike Share locations in Hampden and Hampshire Counties without rental bikes. The City of Northampton says they are working to bring them back.
The City of Northampton said residents can expect a delay this year in the rollout of the rental bikes as local cities begin renegotiations with the vendor, Bewegen. The company filed for bankruptcy in Canada earlier this year and has caused some contract issues across the world.
Communities along with Northampton including Amherst, UMass Amherst, Chicopee, Easthampton, Holyoke, South Hadley, Springfield, and West Springfield are working to renegotiate their contracts to get rental bikes back on the streets. They hope to get rental bikes back for residents by May.
Northampton Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra stated, “The ValleyBike share is a critical resource for our communities and the Valley in support of our continuing efforts to decarbonize and meet our goals to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. We are therefore committed to ensuring that we can maintain this transportation service and ultimately incorporate it into a seamless and financially stable regional service.”
“We know how important bike share has become to users and to all the communities in the Valley,” said Carolyn Misch, Northampton’s Director of Planning & Sustainability. “All participating communities are working diligently to ensure we can put together at least a partial bike share program this season while we work on a long-term funding solution for the entire system. As we forge a path forward under this model, we hope to be able to stabilize the system for long-term success and expansion opportunities in new communities.”