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  • Covid fueled the rise of the e-bike. See where ridership grew in the U.S. - NBC News

    by Elliott Ramos - NBC News | Jun 24, 2021
    The share of e-bike usage more than tripled from May 2020 to May 2021

    Daily Life in New York City Around The One-year Anniversary of The COVID-19 Shut Down
    Photo credit: Noam Galai / Getty Images file

    As public transit took a hit during the pandemic — ridership of subway trains alone declined 90 percent in New York City — cities began rolling out fleets of electric motor bikes, or e-bikes. And those bikes, it turns out, have skyrocketed in popularity, beginning to displace nonmotorized bikes in many places.

    While e-bike sales are on the rise according to industry groups, they don’t account for the actual usage. Trip data from bike-share programs — a public system of shared bikes that charge a fee — may shed some light on their use.

    An NBC News analysis of bike-share data from 11 of 13 cities that have comparable numbers shows that in May of last year, e-bikes accounted for only 11 percent of bike-share rides in cities surveyed, with 240,000 e-bike rides. Last month, they accounted for 38 percent of bike-share rides, ballooning to 1.4 million trips. The remaining 62 percent of rides were on conventional, nonmotorized bikes.

    The data, provided by BCycle, Lyft and open data sources, shows that e-bike rides made up more than a quarter of bike-share trips in Philadelphia and about half of all bike-share rides in Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio. In the Bay Area, e-bikes accounted for more than 70 percent of bike-share trips.

    In some cities, e-bikes contributed to a post-pandemic bounce in bike-share usage. In Chicago, the number of bike-share rides in May increased from 338,000 in 2019 to 531,000 in 2021, with a third of those extra rides on e-bikes.

    While bike-share programs are not new, the addition of e-bikes allows riders to easily reach speeds of 15 mph, or speeds typically associated with high-endurance riders. That’s because of an electric motor that accelerates the bike as the rider pedals, making it possible to commute longer distances in a short amount of time.

    The increased speeds have also raised safety issues. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a report last year that said e-bikes accounted for 9 percent of micromobility injuries. "Micromobility" refers to transit devices such as e-bikes and hoverboards.

    Samantha Herr, executive director of the North American Bikeshare Association, an industry group that advocates for increased use of bike-share programs, e-scooters and e-bikes.

    Herr’s organization published a report in 2020 that showed e-bike utilization grew in 2019 and they were used almost twice as often as conventional pedal bikes in an average day.

    “We see [bike-share] as a piece of the broader way that people are going to get around their towns and cities,” she said. “It connects people to transit from first mile to last mile. ... It’s also filled in transit deserts.”

    Chicago tried to address those transit deserts last year when it introduced e-bikes to its Divvy bike-share program, which was part of a major expansion of the program, said Gia Biagi, the transportation commissioner for Chicago.

    Divvy e-bikes accounted for 10 percent of all bike-share rides in August 2020, the month the bikes rolled out, according to bike-share data. E-bike usage climbed to nearly a quarter of rides in September, and as of last month, the bikes make up a third of the city’s bike-share rides.

    Biagi said the rising popularity of the e-bikes was the result of several factors.

    “Folks who might have felt uncomfortable being in a vehicle, then looking at the Divvy bike and say, ‘Oh, this is a great option.’ We also offered deep discounts at the height of the pandemic to really incentivize people with an alternative option if they were feeling like they weren't ready to take public transit,” Biagi said.

    In Chicago, the cost of a single e-bike ride is $3.30 to unlock plus 20 cents a minute. An annual membership of $108 eliminates the unlock fee and lowers the per-minute rate by 5 cents. Every city sets their prices differently.

    The composition of a bike-share fleet can also affect how many e-bike trips there are in a system. In the New York City area in May, e-bikes made up 20 percent of the Citi Bike fleet but 38 percent of its rides. In Washington, D.C., e-bikes made up 13 percent of Capital Bikeshare’s fleet but 23 percent of the rides. In Chicago, the proportions were more matched, with a third of Divvy bikes being electric and e-bikes making up a third of all trips last month.

    “I think it's only going to gain in popularity. Here in Chicago, we plan to roll out more e-bikes into the system and expand,” Biagi said.

    Some cities such as Nashville, Tennessee, and Madison, Wisconsin, have even replaced their fleets entirely with e-bikes due to their popularity. Madison’s bike-share program is run by BCycle, which replaced the town’s entire fleet with e-bikes in June 2019.

    “We saw incredible growth, double, triple ridership of what we had seen previously,” said Morgan Ramaker, BCycle’s executive director.

    BCycle has bike-share programs in more than 40 cities, with 21 of them sporting e-bikes. She said that despite the pandemic hit, they saw higher ridership in 2020, especially among the systems that had e-bikes.

    That trend did not hold up in Los Angeles, which saw its Metro Bike Share use decrease in 2020. Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero told Streetsblog LA that ridership had decreased by about half compared to March 2019. Metro suspended 58 bike stations last year to remove dockless “smart” bikes from its system.

    California was the first state to enact a stay-at-home order, and this month the state lifted its social distancing and capacity limits.

    The same decline was shown in Columbus, Ohio, where overall bike-share fell 37 percent in May of this year, down from a high of 7,000 rides in 2020. Despite that, e-bikes made up nearly half of those rides.

    Still, Ramaker said the majority of BCycle systems had higher ridership overall in 2020 compared to the previous year.

    “People are looking for creative ways to get to where they need to go that's not in a single-occupancy vehicle, which we really think that bike sharing — e-bikes in particular — addresses,” Ramaker said.

    Read the article from NBC News

  • Las Vegas unveils a U.S. first: fully integrated transit and bikeshare with one app, one account

    by Mckenzie Asplund | Apr 29, 2021

    New "Mobility-as-a-Service" experience in Transit app for RTC of Southern Nevada in collaboration with BCycle, Bicycle Transit Systems

    Move over, flying cars: the future of transportation is already here — and it makes “going green” the easy choice. Today, Las Vegas becomes the first city in the United States to integrate its bikeshare and transit systems into a single account and app experience. The new offering, available in the Transit app, enables riders to plan a multimodal trip, purchase a transit pass, and unlock a bike with just a few taps. It’s now available for RTC riders, 1 in 5 of whom already use the Transit app every day.

    By merging transit and bikeshare into one experience with Transit, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is making it easier than ever for people to get around Las Vegas without having to drive. Bikeshare has seen increased popularity during the pandemic, and as the manager of both the bikeshare and transit systems, the RTC is positioned to bring the services together, creating a combined option that introduces new audiences to bikeshare.

    Nevadans already use Transit for trips on the region’s public transit network, thanks to real-time transit countdowns, bus crowding information, and transit passes in the app. RTC riders have paid for more than 65,000 trips with Transit since the RTC launched ticketing in the app in January 2020. Now, RTC riders can also buy bikeshare passes and unlock bikes with their Transit account for RTC Bike Share's 21-station, 150-bike system.

    With just a few taps, users can enter their payment information once to purchase and activate any transit or bikeshare pass type with Transit. Previously, the services were not connected, requiring users to enter payment information into separate accounts and download multiple apps.

    The technology behind this first-of-its-type integration in the U.S. is the result of collaboration led by the RTC between Transit, bikeshare operator Bicycle Transit Systems, and BCycle, which provides bikeshare hardware and technology. It builds upon the existing integration of RTC’s public transit fare products in Transit using the Justride SDK from Masabi, the company that powers mobile ticketing for the agency.

    In addition to RTC of Southern Nevada, riders can use their Transit account to purchase fares for more than 30 transit systems across the U.S. and Canada, including AC Transit in the San Francisco Bay Area, RTD in Denver, Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica, Metro in Cincinnati, and the ARTM in Montreal. The app also provides bikeshare payments and unlocking for six systems, including BIXI in Montreal and MoGo in Detroit.

    “We are proud to be the first transit agency in the United States to fully integrate both bike share and transit passes in a single app,” said MJ Maynard, RTC Chief Executive Officer. “Providing this additional multimodal option is just another way we are meeting our community’s evolving transportation needs.”

    “This collaboration is the result of a public transit agency deciding to forge a new path for the future of transportation,” said Jake Sion, Chief Operating Officer at Transit. “Nevadans are getting mobility at the press of a button in Transit. What happened in Vegas shouldn't stay there: we’re already cooking up plans with our public transit partners across the country to integrate bikeshare, scooters, and on-demand services into their own transit networks."

    “Our goal is to change the world by getting more people on bikes,” said Morgan Ramaker, Executive Director of BCycle. “To do that, we’re working to remove barriers to riding. This collaboration will make it easier than ever for Transit riders to add bikes to their options for alternative transportation.”

    “The mission of Bicycle Transit Systems is to help communities become greener, healthier and more connected,” adds Bicycle Transit Systems CEO Alison Cohen. "This partnership will allow Las Vegas residents and visitors to join in that effort by making bike share a key part of their multi-modal journeys throughout the city."

    “While there has been much talk around the potential of MaaS, cities like Las Vegas are already deploying highly innovative mobility solutions that give quick and simple access to a range of modes,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO of Masabi. “We are delighted to see solutions supported by Justride being developed to enhance the discoverability and usability of bikeshare schemes, which will have a positive impact on health, the community, and the environment.”

    About the RTC: The RTC is the transit authority, designated metropolitan planning organization, regional traffic management agency and administrator of the Southern Nevada Strong comprehensive regional plan for the Las Vegas valley. The RTC’s vision is to provide a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for citizens and visitors. The RTC encourages residents and visitors to use a variety of transportation choices to help reduce traffic congestion, clean the air and improve the quality of life in Southern Nevada. For more information about the RTC and its major initiatives or to download its transit app rideRTC, visit and stay informed by subscribing to our blog.

    About Transit: Transit solves the urban commute in more than 200 cities worldwide. Users can easily navigate public transit with accurate real-time predictions, simple trip planning, step-by-step navigation and quick, easy payments. The app also integrates additional transport modes — bikeshare, scooters, carshare and ridehail — so users can mix-and-match their options with public transit to determine the best way to get from A to B. The company is based in Montréal, QC. Learn more by visiting

    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

    About Bicycle Transit Systems: Bicycle Transit Systems is a national company that specializes in bike share launch, operations, and management. Comprising the most experienced bike share operations team in the industry, Bicycle Transit Systems manages the operational elements of RTC Bike Share, including bike and station maintenance, marketing, and customer service. For more information, visit

    About Masabi: Masabi is bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service — a better way of delivering fare payments — to public transit agencies and authorities of all sizes around the globe. This enables the delivery of the latest fare payment innovations quickly, using a platform which is constantly updating and adding new features. Not only does this improve the journey experience for passengers, but it helps agencies keep up with the pace of technology change, while reducing the total cost of fare collection. Justride, named Ticketing Technology of the Year 2019 and 2020, is used by more than 100 public transit agencies and operators of all sizes across 10 countries. Masabi has offices in New York, Denver, London, and Cluj, and investors include Mastercard, Shell, and Keolis. For more information, visit

  • Nashville BCycle to Return with All-Electric Fleet

    by BCycle | Apr 20, 2021

    bcycleNashville Downtown Partnership

    Visit for more information or to Buy a pass


    BCycle to team up with Nashville Downtown Partnership to relaunch bike share with an upgraded fleet

    Nashville, TN – April 15, 2021 BCycle LLC and the Nashville Downtown Partnership are thrilled to announce the return of bike share to the city of Nashville with an upgraded, all-electric bike fleet. Nashville BCycle closed in Spring 2020 due to COVID-19 and now returns thanks to a new partnership between BCycle LLC and the Nashville Downtown Partnership.

    Nashville BCycle will relaunch in July with 300 electric, pedal-assist bikes, joining a growing number of bike share programs across the country with 100 percent electric bike fleets.

    “We’ve seen the boom in popularity of e-bikes in other BCycle cities like Madison, Wis., and Charlotte, N.C., that have ‘gone electric’ by replacing their bike fleet with e-bikes,” said BCycle Executive Director Morgan Ramaker. “Riders love the ease of use that the pedal assist provides. It makes riding more enjoyable and more accessible for everyone.”

    The BCycle electric bike is a pedal-assist bike that amplifies pedaling power, allowing riders to do and see more. It features a Bosch system that provides support up to 17 mph. The power assist only works when riders pedal and can be turned off by the rider at any time during their ride. BCycle e-bikes check in and out of the city’s 34 existing stations.

    “We’re so glad to see bike share returning to Nashville,” said Tom Turner, President and CEO of the Nashville Downtown Partnership. “E-bikes will make it even better to visit Nashville’s businesses, enjoy our outdoor recreation opportunities in a safe and socially distanced way, and ease back into a no-sweat commute with increased mobility in and around our city.”

    Nashville BCycle, under the management of BCycle LLC, will continue to operate in partnership with the Nashville Downtown Partnership, the nonprofit management association that has managed bike share in Nashville since 2012. To learn more about the program and station locations visit

    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

    About Nashville Downtown Partnership

    Organized in 1994, the Nashville Downtown Partnership is a private-sector nonprofit corporation and membership organization whose core purpose is “to make Downtown Nashville the compelling urban center in the Southeast in which to LIVE, WORK, PLAY and INVEST.” The Nashville Downtown Partnership works to advance the downtown experience for residents, employees, businesses and visitors alike. From its Clean and Safe teams to effective collaboration with public and private leaders to identify and implement resources that serve all of downtown, the Nashville Downtown Partnership enhances Nashville’s economic vitality and manages sustainable growth. For more information, visit

  • Free Rides on Earth Day Presented by Trek

    by Tyler Britz | Apr 19, 2021

    Each year, BCycle systems offset millions of pounds of carbon emissions in their communities. When we choose to go green with our transportation by choosing bike share, we can enact significant change in our community, especially when replacing short commutes with more environmentally-conscious options.

    This Earth Day, BCycle is happy to offer Free Single Ride Passes in select cities to continue getting more people on bikes.

    Riders in Madison, Wis., Broward, Fl., Santa Barbara, Cal., and Greenville, S.C., can redeem a promo code for a free Single Ride Pass which includes 30 minutes of riding.

    Riders in Madison, Broward, Santa Barbara, and Greenville can redeem promo code EarthDay21 online or in the app when signing up.

    Help BCycle continue on the path to a greener future when you choose to #GoByBike this Earth Day, April 22nd, and beyond.

  • New Flexible Bike Docking Tech From BCycle

    by Zachary Shahan | Mar 08, 2021

    Emily Parking Bike (2)

    More than a decade ago, when I was running a nonprofit focused on green transportation options and sustainable development, modern bikesharing was just popping onto the scene. It was a kind of revolution in the bicycle planning and bicycle commuting world, and it was built around modern, smart, fairly high-volume docking stations where people could pick up a bike or return a bike.

    In more recent years, a dockless bikesharing trend has emerged. The added flexibility of being able to leave a bike anywhere appealed to many people. Just find a bike somewhere on the street near your starting point and leave it at your destination. Easy!

    There are issues with both systems, though. With the stations with docks, bikes would often end up emptied from high-density residential areas in the morning, with not enough places to dock at high-density workplaces as well in the morning, and then the reverse trend in the late afternoon. With dockless stations, too many bikes could be left well off the beaten track, they could “clutter up” sidewalks in some areas, and it can just be a bit less predictable where you can find a bike if the region isn’t heavily saturated in them (which costs money). One more matter with the docking stations: they typically required large, fairly expensive kiosks.

    BCycle, which has been a leader in the bikesharing arena for more than a decade (and I wrote about here on CleanTechnica at least as far back as 2013), has a helpful new bikesharing station design that takes some of those challenges to heart. The new “3.0 docking stations” are beginning to roll out in California (Santa Barbara), Florida (Broward County), and Wisconsin (Madison). They are something like a middle ground between earlier capex-heavy docking stations and completely detached dockless programs.

    “BCycle has launched a new generation of dock-based bike share with the 3.0 docks,” the company writes. “The 3.0 docks combine the flexibility and streamlined infrastructure that cities and riders want with the order and predictability that have made BCycle’s bike share programs successful for more than a decade. Unique to the bike share industry, this technology allows programs to grow more quickly and at a lower cost by eliminating the need for a kiosk. Its modular design also allows for smaller stations in more locations.”

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    The focus on flexibility is repeated throughout the press release about the news. The message is clear: you can have some of the flexibility of a dockless system with a bit more of the order and reliability that comes with docks. Notably, part of that flexibility comes from something noted in the quote above — that these are modular stations, sort of like LEGO pieces. You could put two in one spot, or 30.

    Additionally, the smaller size and greater flexibility mean that these can be spread out more diversely (almost mimicking a dockless system), and the system operator can more easily (i.e., cheaply) roll out more docking stations to specific areas as it’s determined they are needed there — as it becomes more clear where riders want to pick up and drop off bikes.

    “Our goal at BCycle is to get more people on bikes,” says Morgan Ramaker, Executive Director of BCycle, LLC. “To do that, we need to make it easy for bike share programs to grow quickly and flexibly, whether that’s expanding into new neighborhoods, or creating greater density in downtown areas. We have developed a best-of-both-worlds solution that offers the flexibility that bike share riders expect, without sacrificing the reliability that we know docks provide.”

    “BCycle’s new docks open so many doors for us,” says Helen Bradley, General Manager of Madison BCycle. “With lower costs and more flexibility, we can put docks in places we couldn’t previously — areas where space was limited, and a traditional kiosk wouldn’t fit — but where our riders want to be.”

    Here are a few more selling points and reminders of key highlights about the stations:

    • Modular, kiosk-less, easy-to-install design for countless station configuration options
    • Durable aluminum construction
    • Power savings through new technology
    • Theft deterrents
    • Easy rider access via mobile app or RFID card

    They look great too.

    Overall, these BCycle 3.0 docking stations look like winners. I look forward to seeing some pop up in my area of the world.

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