EUGENE. Ore. -- There's a new way to get around Eugene that’s good for people's health and the environment.
The PeaceHealth Rides bike share program kicked off Thursday, with 300 blue bikes set up at stations in the Eugene area.
The stations can be found downtown, at the University of Oregon and in the Whiteaker area. There's also one in Springfield at Riverbend hospital.
All of the bikes are fit with a GPS to track the bike and offer assistance if needed.
One business owner said it makes for quick downtown transportation for distances that are too far to walk.
"As a guy who has a business downtown I love this whole idea," Rick Dancer said. "If I'm late for a business meeting and cant walk there, I know I can hop on a bike and just zip to my meeting."
Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis said the bike share is a key element in accomplishing important city goals.
"We have set climate recovery goals for reducing our fossil fuel use, our greenhouse gas by 50 percent by 2030," Vinis said. "Helping people get out of thier cars is one way in which we as individuals and we as a community partners to help realize that goal."
A retired firefighter said he's looking forward to using the new bikes for excerise, after he found his health deteriorating.
"I was a fellow who worked too much, quit exercising, became ill and payed a price for it," Paul Esselstyn said.
However, he said riding bikes changed all of that. Now, he hopes other people will take advantage of the health benefits.
"The primary tool I used to get myself healthy again was a bicycle," Esselstyn said. "So, I'm pretty darn pleased that this program is happening."
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