Boulder, Colo., Nashville, Tenn. BCycle, one of the country’s leading bike share providers and operators, has introduced electric cargo bikes to service their electric bike fleets in Boulder, Colorado and Nashville, Tennessee as the company furthers its commitment to sustainable micro-mobility in its communities.
The cargo bikes will help both systems reduce their operational carbon emissions while adding another tool for the in-market service teams to provide an unmatched experience for riders as bike share use continues to rise in both cities.
Both the Boulder and Nashville systems are among the country’s longest-running public bike share operations, with more than a decade of continuous operation and millions of bike share trips taken.
While bike share allows riders to choose an eco-friendly option to commute and explore, both BCycle system managers in Boulder and Nashville looked inward for ways to introduce sustainable alternatives to their day-to-day operations.
“Bike share is a great way for Boulder residents and visitors to reduce their carbon footprint by choosing to make trips by bike” said Boulder BCycle General Manager Kevin Crouse. “Just this past year, over 40 percent of our riders in Boulder said that bike share replaced what would have otherwise been a single-occupancy car trip.”
Since rolling out fully electric bike fleets in 2019, BCycle systems have traditionally used only their fleet vehicles to swap out e-bike batteries with low charges, redistribute e-bikes to different areas of the city, and collect bicycles for maintenance.
“We identified bike battery swapping as a huge opportunity to reduce our emissions and make the operation more sustainable going forward,” said Crouse. “That’s where we looked to cargo bikes as an easy solution with a big impact.”
In Nashville, the system was looking for a better way to reduce commute times to stations and e-bikes, while showing other area businesses that small changes can have a big impact on the city.
“Like any big city, there’s traffic that can be unpredictable depending on the day, and even time of day,” said Nashville BCycle Operations Manager Eric Magas. “We saw cargo bikes as a way to take away the uncertainty of time it could take to get to stations to swap bike batteries or solve a problem for a rider.”
Having partnered previously on campaigns aimed at getting more people on bikes and riding bike share, BCycle started working again with their partners at Bosch eBike Systems, whose electric bike drive systems power all BCycle e-bikes, to collaborate on a solution that creates more sustainable bike share operations. Timing was perfect as BCycle’s parent company Trek was set to unveil the Fetch+ 4 cargo bike, an electric bike utilizing Bosch technology.
The Fetch+ 4 is Trek’s newest electric cargo bike powered by Bosch and gives both BCycle operators flexibility to configure the bike to fit the needs of the system. Both Boulder and Nashville systems have installed their battery transport cases on the bike, servicing the needs of growing ridership in both cities.
“It’s thrilling to support the expansion from powering the BCycle bike share fleet to innovative e-bikes like Trek’s Fetch+ 4” said Bosch NA Marketing Director, Jocelyn Vande Velde. “Cargo bikes are growing in popularity, especially as a fun, healthy alternative for transporting children, however, carrying cargo for business purposes is also on the rise.”
Since August, cargo bikes have been used for thousands of bike battery swaps in Boulder and Nashville.
BCycle says that the example set by the Boulder and Nashville systems using cargo bikes in their operations will shape the way other BCycle systems operate moving forward and will improve the service delivered to riders in every community.