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One of the country’s largest and longest-standing bike-share companies has reportedly launched in Santa Barbara. In partnership with the City of Santa Barbara, BCycle will finally bring electric bikes to the city.
BCycle is owned by the global leader in the design and manufacture of bicycles and cycling equipment Trek Bicycle. The company’s president John Burke reportedly said: “Santa Barbara is a special place and is an ideal community for electric assist bike sharing. I think the new system is going to make a very positive impact in the community from a health, congestion, and quality of life standpoint.”
After launching successful electric bike share programs in states like Wisconsin and Florida, BCycle will bring electric bikes located at accompanying docking stations across the city providing greater mobility and accessibility to the city of Santa Barbara and the surrounding area to both residents and guests.
The city hopes that the availability of electric bikes will redefine mobility and open rideshare to an expanded range of new users who might not otherwise ride. And because of the concerns raised regarding the spread of COVID-19, the rideshare company said the bikes will be sanitized daily, with the bikes being sanitized during their check-ins with the batteries at the stations. The company, however, does encourage people to also sanitize and bring their own wipes saying it is a “team effort.”
Santa Barbara BCycle general manager Jesse Rosenberg further commented: “We are thrilled to bring this leading innovation to beautiful Santa Barbara. Not only will this provide a great amenity to a great city, it will also serve as an affordable transportation option, taking residents to work and school.”
Users can pay-as-you-go pass for $7 for every 30 minutes. There are also monthly and annual memberships —which provide unlimited 30-minute rides— available for purchase online or through the BCycle app.
The program comes at the right time given the bike boom that came as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus emptied out Los Angeles’ roadways, so bicyclists took advantage of this. As more cyclists have hit the roads, September 2020 had the fewest bicycle-vehicle collisions since the city began releasing data in 2012. Per data from the Los Angeles Police Department, there were 18 bike-vehicle collisions recorded in the city that month, down from 185 during the same period in 2019 — making it the lowest number ever recorded. Consequently, the number of cycling trips in the city logged by Strava Metro, which tracks data on bike usage in urban areas, rose by 52%, to 191,010.