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  • Electric bike sharing program launches in Encinitas

    by Tania Thorne | Jan 25, 2022

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    Photo by KPBS 

    The city of Encinitas launched an electric bike-sharing program on Wednesday.

    Visitors will spot the colorful BCycle bikes and docks along Coast Highway from Leucadia to Cardiff by the Sea.

    Similar to other bike-sharing programs, the e-bike is unlocked through the “BCycle” cell phone app.

    But Tim Pirkey with the company said this program has a major difference.

    “Accountability,“ he said. “It provides for a much nicer experience for both the rider and the community.”

    To complete a ride, the cyclist must return the bike to one of the 11 docking stations.

    “You’ll never have bikes abandoned in front of businesses, on sidewalks, and intersections or anything like that,” said Pirkey.

    Riders must be 18 years of age. But in other cities, kids have still found ways to ride.

    Pirkey said BCycle has set some safety limitations.

    “We have them limited to 15 miles per hour so that there’s not going to be excessive speeding through town,” he said. “And just encouraging smart, safe, cycling.“

    A BCycle team will provide support to the bike program and will respond to some emergencies and repairs.

    BCycle comes from a partnership with Trek Bicycles and Electra Bikes, headquartered in Encinitas.

    Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear hopes the BCycle trial will expand to other cities.

    “My hope is that we are able to have a lot more than 65 bicycles, that we can double that and we’ll have it not just at our train station, but all along the El Camino Real corridor. And people will be able to have monthly passes where they can get on their bicycle and ride it to work… and that this will be a part of their commute,” she said.

    The pilot program lasts one year with three annual extension options afterward.

    Crystal Najera, the city of Encinitas sustainability manager, said the e-bike program is helping Encinitas meet its climate action plan goals.

    “Every bike that is being ridden is one less car on the road, one less vehicle emitting carbon into our atmosphere and causing global climate change,” she said.

    Najera said she hopes the program will launch in other nearby cities and has already been in talks with Oceanside, Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

    Single rides cost $7 for 30 minutes, monthly passes cost $30 and annual passes cost $150.

  • Encinitas BCycle launches new bike share system in partnership with City of Encinitas

    by Encinitas Advocate | Jan 25, 2022

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    Photos by Robert McKenzie 

    Encinitas BCycle, a new bike share system launched in partnership with the City of Encinitas, celebrated its inaugural e-bike ride on Jan. 5. With this new program, residents and visitors have access to 60 pedal assist e-bikes in 18 locations in Encinitas.

    “The bicycle is a simple solution to many of today’s greatest challenges -- including global warming, traffic congestion and obesity. Replacing 6% of car trips with a bike would create a dramatic change in our world,” said Kevin Cox, president of Electra. “The Encinitas BCycle program addresses more than just a fun way to get around our beautiful town, but a way to do our part in addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.”

    “As an east Encinitas resident and someone who regularly uses active transportation to replace car trips, I am very excited about this partnership with BCycle,” said Kristine Schindler, co-chair of Bike Walk Encinitas. “I believe that docked-based bikeshare will help with compliance and proper parking which will in turn will lead to higher utilization and public safety. The timing of this launch is perfect, Encinitas residents and visitors need bikeshare.”

    The e-bikes can be rented from stations around the city. Encinitas BCycle riders can see bike and station locations and purchase passes at encinitas.bcycle.com or via the BCycle app (bcycle.com/app). For more information on BCycle LLC, visit www.bcycle.com.

  • Electric bike share will be launched in Encinitas on January 5th, 2022

    by Mckenzie Asplund | Dec 23, 2021


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    The new electric bike share program provides Encinitas with a more sustainable transportation option.

    (Encinitas, CA) BCycle, one of the nation’s largest and longest standing bike share companies, will launch another exclusively electric, docked bike share system in Encinitas, CA, on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022. Launched in partnership with the City of Encinitas, the new system will bring electric bikes to the city designed to take riders further, faster, and with less effort than before. This marks the 36th BCycle system in the United States, and the 8th BCycle-owned operation.

    “We are excited about the launch of Encinitas BCycle – we know a bikeshare program is a great way to provide bikes to more people in an easy and affordable way,” said Crystal Najera, Sustainability Manager of the City of Encinitas. “We see this as an opportunity to allow more Encinitas residents and visitors to try an e-bike, avoid emitting transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, and help the City meet its Climate Action Plan goals.”

    “We are thrilled to bring electric assist bike share to Encinitas,” said Tim Pirkey, Manager of Encinitas BCycle. “The new system is going to make a positive impact in the community by providing an accessible form of transportation while improving community members’ health and quality of life.”

    Passes are available for purchase at encinitas.bcycle.com or via the BCycle app (bcycle.com/app). For short-term access to the system, riders can purchase a Single Ride Pass for $7 per 30 minutes. Longer-term options include a Monthly Pass for $30 and an Annual Pass for $150, both of which allow riders to take unlimited 30-minute trips. BCycle will be hosting a launch event at 11:00AM on Wednesday, January 5th at Moonlight Beach Park.

    After launching successful electric bike share programs in Madison, WI, Santa Barbara, CA, Broward, FL, Greenville, SC, Boulder, CO, San Antonio, TX and Nashville, TN, BCycle will bring electric bikes located at accompanying docking stations across the city, providing greater mobility and accessibility to the city of Encinitas and the surrounding areas. The availability of electric bikes will redefine mobility and open rideshare to an expanded range of new users who might not otherwise ride.

    Key Program Features and Attributes

    • First city-wide fleet of bike share bikes
    • Rider experience – the ability to ride up hill without much effort
    • About the electric bikes system:
      • Class 1 – three speed electric bikes
      • Electric pedal-assist system will amplify a rider’s pedal power, up to 15 mph
      • 100 docking stations placed in key areas around the city provide a seamless check out and check in process

    About BCycle

    Headquartered in Waterloo, WI, BCycle LLC develops and delivers best-in-class bike share systems and is committed to providing an environmentally sustainable transportation alternative for cities. BCycle believes that bike share is the bicycle’s role in public transit and is on a mission to change the world by getting more people on bikes. BCycle, a fully owned subsidiary of Trek Bicycle, partners with organizations across the country to deliver community-based bike share. For more information, visit www.bcycle.com.

  • Why San Antonio's bike-share company is going all-electric - San Antonio Report

    by Brendan Gibbons - San Antonio Report | Nov 21, 2021
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    Photo credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

    San Antonio’s bike-share company is fully electrifying its fleet, a sign of a growing global trend toward e-bike riding.

    By the end of November, BCycle, which has operated the city’s only bike-share fleet for a decade, will have converted its entire fleet of roughly 300 bikes to pedal-assist bikes that give riders a boost from a battery-powered motor.

    “We’re seeing it, really, across the entire cycling industry,” J.D. Simpson, BCycle general manager, said of the growth of e-bikes worldwide.

    San Antonio is one of many large U.S. cities that have seen e-bikes displacing non-motorized bikes in its bike-share program. A June NBC News analysis of bike-share data from 13 major cities found e-bike use spiked in nearly all of them during the first half of 2021.

    Jeff Moore, a local cycling advocate and organizer with SATX Social Ride, said he’s a “huge fan of the electric-assist bike-share” concept, especially for downtown visitors.

    “It’s going to put tourists on bikes that wouldn’t normally be on bikes, and they’re going to go farther and see more, so it’s good for the city,” Moore said.

    This year is one of transition for San Antonio BCycle, which changed hands in May. A local nonprofit had run the system since its inception in 2011. It’s now owned by BCycle, a subsidiary of Wisconsin-based bicycle manufacturing giant Trek. Houston, Fort Worth, Austin and the lower Rio Grande Valley all now have bike-share programs run by BCycle.

    “Pretty much, nobody’s job changed,” said Simpson, who served as the nonprofit’s director for most of the last decade and stayed on after the transition, along with most of the staff. The switch to ownership by the Trek subsidiary was crucial for the long-term sustainability of having a bike-share service in San Antonio, she added.

    “We needed to convert to e-bikes, we needed to do some certain things, and the local funding just wasn’t there to do it,” Simpson said.

    BCycle now operates nearly 50 stations clustered mostly near downtown. That’s a decline from recent years, a response Simpson attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic that shifted people to working at home, cutting out many regular commuters from the company’s user base, as well as construction that’s temporarily fragmented many downtown streets.

    “Some of it’s driven by construction, some of it’s driven by how people use the system,” Simpson said. “We don’t have that big cluster of downtown workers like we used to have.”

    Still, Simpson said use has been strong, especially among recreational users and people who haven’t used the system before.

    “Suddenly people were looking for things to do, and there weren’t as many cars on the road and people were looking at alternatives and suddenly realized we had bike-share here,” she said.

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    Photo credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report

    One potential issue with moving to e-bikes is how the devices integrate with San Antonio’s greenway network. Motorized vehicles, including dockless scooters, aren’t allowed on the city’s more than 80-mile greenway trail network.

    But, according to Simpson, BCycle’s electric bikes are calibrated for San Antonio’s greenways. Their battery power kicks in when pedaling, rather than relying on a simple throttle. They’re programmed to top out at 15 miles per hour, unlike commercially available e-bikes that can boost riders to speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour.

    And Bryan Martin, founder of San Antonio e-bike company Bronko Bikes, pointed out that traditional cyclists can ride as recklessly on the greenways as e-bike riders.

    “We’ve all seen spandex riders trying to set a new Strava record who will hit somebody,” Martin said.

    Martin’s company specializes in converting pedal-powered bikes to e-bikes, along with e-bike maintenance. He’s also a board member with Bike San Antonio, where he’s advocated for dedicated bike lanes on major downtown streets.

    The lack of dedicated bike lanes is what’s holding San Antonio back from being a truly bike-friendly city, Martin said. But cyclists and advocacy groups like ActivateSA are promoting a vision of pedestrian and bike highways to better connect the greenway network to places like schools, hospitals, malls, and job centers.

    Martin’s favorite example is the Flyway Project, a proposed vision for a pedestrian and bike path forming a north-south connection that roughly parallels U.S. Route 281.

    “I’ll be cruising down the Flyway going 25 miles an hour on a Bronko Bike 20 years from now, saying, ‘I helped build this,’” he said.

    Read the article from San Antonio Report

  • Boulder BCycle prepares to expand fleet of e-bikes to meet growing user demand - Daily Camera

    by Annie Mehl - Daily Camera | Nov 04, 2021

    Sarah Yanowitz, right, heads up the path on a new electric BCycle during the Boulder BCycle launch party on Wednesday. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
    Photo credit: Chris Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    As more people in Boulder hop on e-bikes as an easy and accessible mode of transportation, Boulder BCycle is determined to keep up with the growing demand and is preparing to expand its fleet.

    Photo credit: Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    By the end of the year, BCycle will have 300 e-bikes for people to rent and ride in Boulder and will expand its docking stations in East Boulder, said Sara Michaels, marketing and business development specialist with BCycle.

    “We put 100 e-bikes into our system in March of 2021,” Michaels said. “We had more rides in less than six months than we had in the entire year prior.”

    BCycle had a launch party Wednesday evening for its growing fleet of e-bikes and discussed its plans for the future to help people away from driving and toward an all-electric, sustainable form of transportation. The company recently relocated to a larger space in Boulder to allow for more storage as it multiplies its fleet and charging stations. About 50 people attended the event.

    “We wanted to follow suit in the popularity of not showing up to work sweaty because you have the pedal-assist in your bike,” Michaels said. “It saves you from spending all this money on gasoline, polluting our planet every day and it’s healthy. It’s been proven that riding a bike makes you happy.”

    BCycle has worked with the city for the past decade to offer bike sharing but previously offered regular pedal bikes rather than all-electric pedal-assist bikes. Nonprofit Boulder Bike Sharing formally operated the city’s bike share program in partnership with BCycle.

    The bikes are available throughout the city and the cost for passes varies depending on whether someone wants a day pass versus a monthlong pass, Michaels said. Pass information can be found at boulder.bcycle.com/nav-2020/start-riding.

    As part of the partnership with BCycle and Lime — which offer e-scooters in the city — 15 cents from every e-bike or scooter rental goes back to the city.

    “Those funds go back to the city to pay for whatever costs there are with the program,” said Boulder Senior Transportation Planner David “DK” Kemp. “We could use most of those funds for safety education outreach, infrastructure, social equity programs and staff costs from time working on the project.”

    Morgan Ramaker, executive director of BCycle, said the company is on track to hit 250,000 e-bike trips this year in Boulder — more than double any other year.

    “I’m just really excited to have everyone see the shift that’s happening to the e-bikes,” she said. “They are starting to get more and more plentiful out in the field.

    Read the article from Daily Camera

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