Costly share bike vandalism in Holyoke under investigation

Costly share bike vandalism in Holyoke under investigation
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 8:19 PM EDT
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HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A costly vandalism is under investigation in Holyoke. Police are now asking for the public’s help after several rideshare bikes were found damaged.

ValleyBike Share bikes are another means of transportation for Holyoke residents. City officials said they aren’t being returned to their charging stations, or even a spot on land at all.

“People use them for their homes, to get to their homes, to their jobs, to get to meet with friends and family. So it’s another form of transportation that is affordable and accessible to everyone,” said Ileana Carrion, senior project manager, planning economic development for the city of Holyoke.

The program was implemented in the city a few years back, Ileana Carrion played a big part in bringing them to Holyoke.

Recently, she told Western Mass News that citizens have been vandalizing the bikes.

“In the summer. Probably around two to three weeks ago unfortunately,” said Carrion.

She shared with us a photo of one bike thrown into the Holyoke canal. Each bike cost about $1,200 dollars.

“Four bikes were thrown into the canal which is very unfortunate news because those bikes are permanently damaged,” said Carrion.

She said other bikes are being left in different spots that are not the designated stations. Now, the city is working with the police department to find those bikes and return them.

“We are trying to set up contact with the police so people can drop them off at the police and valley bike can retrieve them,” Carrion explained.

Blank said it’s disappointing to see the bikes treated this way, as many people rely on them for transportation.

Now, the city doesn’t have the means to replace the damaged bikes at this time.

“I don’t believe there’s talks of that. Just retrieving the bikes at this point,” explained Carrion.

If you see a bike around the city either damaged, or not in the right location, you are asked to call City Hall or the Holyoke Police Department.