Monday, August 24, 2020

Ride Salem, Public Bike System, on Hiatus, Planning for Relaunch

With the Pandemic there has obviously been a great deal of pause, closure, and change. It has not always seemed necessary or useful to track every last part of this.

Ride Salem in July 2019
at the downtown Transit Mall, NE corner
One of the changes that might have passed unnoticed, a small detail for most of us (but of course for those who operate it, it would be a big deal) in the middle of the Pandemic, is that Ride Salem shut down in June.

It has not seemed important to chase down the details, as between the Pandemic and national-level changes to the bike rental industry, there are big structural reasons for any change, and it was not primarily any local problem (even if the lack of local support might be a secondary reason and have accelerated any change or made a total shut-down more likely).

Cherriots Trip Choice report on Ride Salem
In Eugene, for example, a system much more successful than Salem's also faced shut-down. They transferred ownership and so far avoided any gap in operations. From a RG piece earlier this summer:
The city of Eugene will take over operations of PeaceHealth Rides later this month, avoiding any interruption in service. This is an interim measure as the city searches for an organization to run the popular bike-share program.

“We know how much our community values our bike-share system,” Matt Rodrigues, city of Eugene acting Public Works director, said in a news release. “The city has worked swiftly with our partners to take action and ensure the future of PeaceHealth Rides.”

The city made the announcement just weeks after the previous operator, Social Bicycles, an Uber subsidiary, announced it was leaving the bike-share business and ending service as of June 1. That date was later extended to June 30.
Zagster, who operated the Ride Salem bikes and rental app, left the business at about the same time as Social Bicycles exited.

Cherriots working to relaunch the bike rentals
At the Cherriots Board meeting next week, Trip Choice will give an update on Ride Salem and talk about efforts to create a better public bike rental system.

So we'll see how it shakes out.

There is plenty of room for improvement, and small incremental improvements are very possible.

Larger changes to make it more relevant in the total transportation mix are more elusive. As we have seen, until the City decides to make downtown streets more hospitable to casual and infrequent cyclists, a rental system will be mainly ornamental, an amusement on the park path system, and not very useful as transportation for errands, business, or commuting. It will also be important to have more stations and a wider coverage area.

On the bigger problems, most recently see:


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your interest in the program and the publicity of Ride Salem.
However, we were never contacted for these details to be validated and are curious about where you learned of our program's future plans. If additional details are to be shared on your blog about Ride Salem's cycleshare program, please contact us through our site prior to publishing which will help in your adherence to the Blogger's content policies. We want to help you avoid publishing non-validated and misleading content about our program moving forward.
Thank you for your understanding.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for stopping by!

But it's not clear what you mean about "validation" or invalid information. The information here comes from the Board agenda packet for Cherriots from last month. This is reporting on the Cherriots Board meeting and presentations they were receiving.

You can see it here.

If Cherriots is sharing incorrect information about Ride Salem, you should be sure to speak with them, as they are the source.

Still, it is perhaps a little strange that you do not offer specific corrections in your comment. What specifically is in error? If there are errors of fact here, we will correct them! Comments are always open.

Anonymous said...