WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – If you’re a bike rider, then you have an unlikely new area that you can benefit from—The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) Olver Transit Pavilion.
This is because at the pavilion, which opened its doors officially on April 28, has a number of bike-related tools and accessories to help riders, including a vending machine filled with parts and snacks. The tools are there to help connect the pavilion and public transit in general, with other modes of transportation like bikes.
“This is for those riders who have a flat tire and can fix it instead of calling home,” Don Podolski, owner of New Horizons Bikes in Westfield, said. “It’s also a statement from the city that we are acknowledging bikes as an alternative mode of transportation.”
Podolski operates and supplies the vending machine through his shop, and it only takes credit or debit. He said that the sales have not been much thus far, but that is partially due to the fact that the vending machine has only been active for about two weeks, some technical errors and people getting used to the offering.
Still, Podolski remains hopeful.
“It will take a month or more for people to become accustomed to it,” he said. “I’m excited about what Westfield is doing for bikes.”
Inside the machine itself, riders can purchase items such as tire repair and refill kits, tail lights, locks, mini-tools and food items. Prices range from $1.50 to $27.
“Everything is priced the same as it would be at the shop,” Podolski said.
In addition to the vending machine, a station is set up nearby where bikers can utilize a number of tools to fix whatever may be wrong with their cycle.
The station has two pegs on the front where cyclists can place their bike, and the tools are tethered to the station with metal cords that can extend out and retract inward. Additionally, there is a QR code on the rack that you can use on your smartphone, which will bring you to a webpage for tips and instructions on fixing your bike.
“Many individuals across the valley connect to the PVTA using their bicycle,” Josh Rickman, Director of Operations and Planning for the PVTA wrote in an email. “The Olver Transit Pavilion in Westfield provided PVTA with a unique opportunity to further support this mode of travel.”
Later in the email, Rickman added, “This equipment centrally located in downtown will assist the City in their efforts to integrate this mode of transportation and encourage individuals to use PVTA services.”