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Home > Getting around today > Two wheels

San Francisco launches its first electric bike sharing scheme

Electrical bike
This year will see the city of San Francisco develop an electric bike sharing scheme. A godsend for cyclists in a city that has over 50 hills.

Forty-five electric bicycles, or “e-bikes”, will be put in place this year, with a further forty-five to follow in 2013.

This system will be implemented thanks to assistance from the Federal Highway Administration, which has financed the initiative to the tune of $1.5m (almost £1m, at current rates) through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The manager of the San Francisco car sharing programme sees it as a transitional solution. Electric bike sharing is in fact designed to be a new option available to citizens.

And in order to promote this system, the city of San Francisco has decided that price must not be a barrier to future “e-bike” users. The hourly rates will be between 50% and 70% less than those of City CarShare.

An initiative that follows eco-mobile trends

The use of different means of transport, public or private, is constantly evolving.

Various problems - such as parking, safety, maintenance, etc. - mean that users now prefer to be able to access a car more than own it. This probably explains the success of City CarShare in San Francisco and the international development of this system. Vehicle sharing, whether they be bicycles or cars, ensures access to cleaner means of transport for all. And the question of a garage or maintenance doesn’t even come up!

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