Bird bikes (copy)

A Bird e-bike is parked along Franklin Avenue in Bend on June 8. The bike is part of the city's new bike-sharing program. 

Some changes will be made to help encourage people to return bikes that belong to Bend’s new bike-share program.

Fail to return one of the bright blue electric bikes to the right location and you’ll receive a fine.

Starting sometime this week, Bird, the company behind the bike share program in Bend, will levy fines and incentives to make sure people return the electric bikes to their mobility hubs, said Tobias Marx, the city’s parking services manager.

The mobility hubs will be geofenced, which means a virtual perimeter will be drawn around it to monitor what goes into and out of the hub. If a bike rider returns the bike to the geofenced mobility hub, the rider will receive an incentive of up to $1, Marx said.

If the rider doesn’t leave the bike in the right place, the rider will be issued a warning, Marx said. If the rider doesn’t return the bike properly, the rider will be issued a fine by Bird, though Marx was not able to confirm the exact amount yet.

The changes are prompted in part by complaints from people seeing bikes left in spots where they aren’t supposed to be, Marx said.

“There’s a lot of moving parts right now to come to a point where we don’t have bikes all over the place anymore,” Marx said.

The city and Bird have begun a two-year pilot program to evaluate how individual, small-scale transit can work in Bend. The goal is to use ridership data from the e-bikes to inform where more mobility hubs should be placed to make it easier for riders to properly use and return the bikes.

So far the program has been popular, Marx said, with ridership increasing a little bit more every day since it began at the beginning of the month.

“We hope that the majority of riders will do the right thing and drop it off in the right location,” Marx said.

“And to make that happen you need to have the (mobility hubs).”

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Reporter: 541-633-2160,

bvisser@bendbulletin.com

Brenna Visser has been a government reporter in Bend since 2019. When not busy reporting, you can find her hiking with her dog or systematically trying all of Bend's breweries.

(4) comments

Transitory Inflation

“We hope that the majority of riders will do the right thing and drop it off in the right location,” Marx said.

You lost me at 'hope'.

Marcomm

These bright blue bikes are going to get dirty and tired and broken. The fines (which I had been lead to believe were already in place) will not be enough to get them back to their charging stations. I'm giving it two years max...

373749

People leave their cars everywhere, why not allow more flexibility in where you leave the bikes?

julieR

No, people do not leave their cars everywhere. Your car has to go in a designated parking spot or in your garage, otherwise you get a ticket. What is needed is more conveniently located mobility stations for accessing and returning these ebikes - maybe at every CET stop? There should be a hefty deposit, like $50, required when you rent the ebike so if you don't return it properly then you lose your deposit. The $1 incentive is a joke!

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