Houston’s Bike Share Begins Rollout Of New Electric Bicycles

Houston BCycle says the e-bikes give riders an added boost. They’re hoping the new bikes will get more people interested in bike share as Houstonians seek recreational opportunities during the pandemic.

Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media
Houston BCycle tried out the electric bikes during a pilot program last year. They’re now hoping to add about 200 e-bikes to their fleet.

The city’s bike sharing nonprofit will begin the rollout of new electric bikes on Houston streets Thursday, ultimately planning to launch 200 e-bikes by March of 2021.

Houston BCycle rolled out several e-bikes during a pilot program last year and riders eagerly sought them out at bikeshare stations. Now the nonprofit is pushing out 100 new e-bikes by the end of the year, 25 of which will be stationed at kiosks starting Thursday.

And Houston BCycle Interim Executive Director Frank Karbarz said if you want to try out an e-bike they'll be easy to find: a downloadable mobile app will mark stations with an image of a lightning bolt to tell riders whether an e-bike is available.

Karbarz said they've seen strong BCycle ridership during the pandemic as people seek socially distant recreation. He's hoping the new e-bikes will get more people interested in bike share because they're able to give riders an added boost, helping them get up to speeds of about 12 mph.

The nonprofit has also learned that people ride longer when they check out an e-bike, he said.

Houston BCycle recently opened a new recreational network in northeast Houston linking Deussen Park and Eisenhower Park. Next year they're planning to set up about 30 new stations in Greater Houston.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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