Bike sharing programs have been cropping up in major metro areas all over America, but some cities are more conducive to cycling than others. The hills of
San Francisco Berkeley can wear out even the most potent of peddlers, so the forthcoming addition of electric bicycles to the ranks of the non-profit City CarShare system is a welcome reprieve for weary road warriors.
The pre-pilot program utilizes two e-bikes set up in Berkeley, and City CarShare is evaluating e-bikes built by Juiced Riders of Chula Vista, California, and ADB. The Juiced Riders e-bikes have an estimated range of 40 miles, and the electric motor can be used to assist with pedaling, or to power the bike without any rider input. There is a plan deploy approximately 90 of the bicycles to 25 pick-up stations across the city as part of a $2 million, three-year pilot program., but for now City CarShare is evaluating what riders do and don’t like about the e-bikes.
Riders will use a key fob to access the system, though hopefully tourists will also be able to access the e-bikes for a one-time fee. While regular bicycles might work for relatively flat cities like New York or Chicago, tourists visiting places like San Francisco might be intimidated by the tall, steep hills that make up much of the metro area.
If you ask me, cycling provides a much more intimate view of a city though, something not even a traditional trolley ride reproduce. Sign me up for an e-bike over public transit any day of the week.