Bike-sharing options in the city have expanded with the addition of two new stations at Oregon State University.
Pedal Corvallis racks were installed last week in front of the Kerr Administration Building on Jefferson Way and in front of Weniger Hall on Northwest Monroe Avenue near 23rd Street.
The OSU additions increase the number of stations to eight (see information box for the full list).
The program is the result of partnerships between the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, the InterCommunity Health Network coordinated care organization and OSU. Also involved are the city, Benton County, the Corvallis School District, the Oregon State Credit Union, Samaritan Health Services and the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club.
OSU and Cascades West officials were on hand Tuesday at the Student Experience Center plaza to pass out information on the program at OSU’s Beyond Earth Day Community Fair.
Tarah Campi, transportation options outreach coordinator with Cascades West, noted that the program, which debuted in June, has resulted in 1,300 trips and has nearly 250 members.
“I think we’re doing really good because it only started in June,” said Meredith Williams, director of transportation services at OSU. “One of the main reasons we thought it would be of value is that if you have a lot of options — a suite of choices — you don’t necessarily have to have a car on campus.”
Williams noted the university’s Zipcar car sharing program and the Beaver Bus as other options for students, faculty and staff. The university also has more than 8,000 bicycle parking spaces, with 3,000 of them covered. More than 20 percent of OSU commuters do so on bikes.
Campi said that the rainy weather this year led to some ups and downs in terms of ridership but that the feedback from riders has been mainly positive. Riders have praised the affordability and high level of maintenance of the bikes, Campi said, and asked for more sites, while some customers expressed concerns that a credit or debit card is required to unlock the bikes.
Campi said that memberships could be sold at an office but that that would add costs to the program.
Campi and Williams noted that businesses or organizations can sign up to have a location in front of their buildings for $7,000, with Campi adding that she would “love to see one on the riverfront.”
The startup costs for the two OSU sites were $20,000, with the costs split between Williams’ office and the university’s sustainability office.
Customers can drop off their bike at any of eight stations. Campi said that early in the program the site at the Benton County Health Department was producing the most trips, while Williams said she “wouldn’t be surprised if the Monroe station takes off in that way.”