300 electric bikes coming to Los Angeles’ Metro

Over 300 pedal assisted e-bikes are to be introduced in the Classic Metro Bike Share system in Downtown LA, Central LA and the Port of LA.

Priced the same as its ‘classic’ bikes ($1.75 per 30 minutes), and with unlocking fees waived until the end of August 2019, users can locate available bikes via an app.

Electric bikes are finding their way into an increasing number of city bike share schemes. London’s Square Mile recently announced freebike’s dockless e-bike sharing while Uber brought its e-bike share service Jump to Brussels last month. By getting e-bikes in the hands of – and under the seat of – more members of the public, the sector seems set to become ever larger in most territories.

LA’s Metro Bike Share has operated since 2016 in the famously car-orientated city. 70,939 passes have been sold so far, for 738,574 trips offsetting 2,185,985 pounds of CO2 (at time of writing).

Metro Bike Share is a partnership between Metro, the City of Los Angles and the Port of LA. Philadelphia-based Bicycle Transit Systems operates Metro Bike Share and BCycle supplies the bikes. BCycle grew out of Trek Bicycles and since 2010 and the US’ “first large scale public bike sharing system” in Denver, now has bikes in 40 cities, across two continents.

As well as e-bikes and ‘classic’ bikes, LA’s bike share service offers Smart Metro Bikes, which work via a TAP card that is simply tapped on a bike screen to unlock. For comparison, London’s Santander Cycles bike hire scheme has failed to integrate with Oyster cards thanks to ‘prohibitive costs‘.