The e-mobility revolution marches on, with new products and programs proving that electric is for everyone – including this one in CA!
The City of Oakland has announced its plans to create the “Oakland E-bike Library” through a $1 million voucher pilot program. The city will buy 500 e-bikes, cargo bikes, adaptive bikes, and scooters that local bike shops in low-income neighborhoods could rent out to their communities.
The project will be a partnership with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit that seeks to create wider access to more ecologically friendly mobility options. The bike shops that they’re looking to engage with would serve communities like East Oakland, West Oakland, San Antonio, Chinatown, and Fruitvale.
The entire project is still under development, as the City of Oakland Department of Transportation and GRID are asking for residents to take a survey that will help shape the rental program. The city and GRID want to know what prices would be accessible and which types of e-bikes people would prefer based on their needs.
E-bike Rentals Featuring Veo Scooters
City spokesperson, Sean Maher, shared that most of the e-bikes would probably be Class I and Class II (with electronically limited top speeds), as those are more affordable and would allow the city to buy more bikes to serve more people. The program will also train people how to safely use e-bikes, and riders will need to sign a code of conduct, receive a tutorial on safety equipment, and agree to wear helmets.
“This project very much goes in line with our vision for a rapid equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone,” said Edgar Arellano, program manager for GRID Alternatives.
Currently, most of the for-profit scooter and bike rentals are available in Oakland and other Bay Area cities, but not in low-income neighborhoods. Within the city’s equity requirements, companies with fleets of more than 250 scooters must have 10% deployed in Fruitvale/San Antonio and 10% in East Oakland. But e-bike companies have opted to deploy fleets of fewer than 250, avoiding the East Oakland deployment requirement.
OakDOT says it will track the program’s impact through various rental metrics. The data will be shared with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state government agency that is paying for this five-year program.