Pedal Corvallis Bike Share, a Corvallis transportation service, had previously been suspended in March 2020, but the city has now publicized their plans to launch a new system in late September or early October of 2021.
The services had been closed when Zagster, the national bike share company which provides customer services for this program shut down due to health and safety concerns of COVID-19.
“The company that managed our bicycles, Zagster, went out of business all across the country,” said Meredith Williams, director of OSU Transportation Services. “It happened right as COVID-19 became much bigger and prominent in the United States. It was kind of simultaneous that people stopped using the bikes for a sort of fear [of] sharing the bikes, and then the company, through the lack of rentals, probably put them out of business.”
Corvallis is the second community in Oregon to have launched a public bike share system, followed by the Bike Town program launched in Portland. Corvallis’ bikeshare program, Pedal Corvallis, was first implemented in the summer of 2016 as a pilot project in order to provide more transportation options throughout the Corvallis community.
This program was originally installed with six parking stations with the collaboration between several community partners, including the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, Corvallis’ Medicare provider, and the InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization.
“An average of 400 trips a month were taken in 2019,” Nappa said. The purpose is to “make it easier for low-income folks, people of color and people experiencing homelessness to have a reliable transportation option to get where they need to go to run an errand.”
Nappa noted that by 2018, four on-campus stations were added by the sponsorship of OSU Transportation Services, OSU Sustainability Office and OSU Associated Students.
“It is actually a good service for certain people or certain trips by bike, and really useful for people visiting the campus, or sometimes for students or faculty who are maybe just here for a shorter period of time… at a low cost,” Williams said.
Bao Nguyen a senior OSU student in the College of Engineering, shared that Pedal bikes are his main means of transportation when he “needs to go between classes at the fastest pace”
“For the next program, I hope they can provide more stations at Corvallis since it is easier for me to go around,” Nguyen said. “Plus, it would be nice if bikes are dockless so that I can park anywhere I want like Bike Town up in Portland.”
Following the success from the original version, OCWCOG officials are planning to reevaluate and redesign a new system which will take approximately a year until the final installation step. Specifically, this new plan will emphasize public engagement, through an online survey, where people are allowed to share their preferences about bike share system styles such as station-based, dockless or hybrid.
“OSU students are the main rider of the original system,” said Nappa. “We really interested in hearing what students think and what students want for the system”