HCN News & Notes

Springfield Not Reopening ValleyBike Share in 2020 Due to Public-health Concerns

SPRINGFIELD — ValleyBike Share, the Pioneer Valley’s three-year-old electric bike-sharing system with stations across six cities and towns (Amherst, Northampton, Easthampton, South Hadley, Holyoke, and Springfield), including stations on the UMass Amherst campus, will not be operating this year in the city of Springfield.

Upon the recommendation of Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris to Mayor Domenic Sarno, the decision was made out of an abundance of caution to help mitigate the potential community spread of the novel coronavirus.

Concerns about possible spread of coronavirus are the reason behind this decision. Hampden County (6,883 cases per 100,000 residents) has seen much higher rates of COVID-19 infections than Hampshire County (985 cases per 100,000), with the numbers of infections still rising in the last two weeks. Hamden County is experiencing the Commonwealth’s highest death rate, with 141 out of 100,000 people dying from the disease.

As of July 1, the city of Springfield had reported 2,833 infections, for a rate of 1,789 per 100,000. In Springfield, 16.4% of people tested are testing positive for COVID-19, compared to a rate of 12.2% for the Commonwealth as a whole.