The newest Ride Salem bike station at the Salem Railroad Station. (Courtesy/Ride Salem)

Commuters opting to take the train or bus will be able to hop on a bike near Salem’s depot to close the last leg of their journey.

Ride Salem opened the latest addition to its bike share program this week. To rent a bike, riders use an app or text 202-999-3924 to acquire a code to unlock the bikes from seven stations around the city and return them to any of the stations when they’re done.

“It’ll be more accessible,” said Evan Osborne, Ride Salem’s co-founder.

Osborne said the bicycles are less expensive than a cab ride. Bikes cost $1.50 per half hour or users can get unlimited use with a $25 annual membership. In December, Osborne told the Salem Reporter the program had reached 1,000 rides.

The Oregon Department of Transportation spent $8,000 for the station on 500 13th St. S.E.

Stephanie Millar, transportation options program manager at ODOT, said her job is to help people find options to avoid driving alone.

“One of the biggest barriers to choosing transit is the ability to get to that first and last mile destination,” she said. “It really helps close that gap and increase the attractiveness of choosing to travel or commute by a way other than driving alone.”

She said ODOT has an online carpool matching tool, Get There Oregon, where users can enter their location and find the easiest way to get home without driving a car.

Millar has used the website to find people to carpool with from southwest Portland to Salem on weekdays.

The bike station will be featured on the website.

“We felt like it was a good way to help people make these choices and make it work for them,” she said.

Osborne said there will be more bike stations in the future, too. Ride Salem is fundraising for cement patios in Riverfront Park so it can locate two stations there. 

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.