Bicycle sharing programs are becoming a major part of the urban transportation fabric in cities worldwide. In the spring of 2013, New York City launched a 330 station/6,000 bike system in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The system has already exceeded expectations, recording almost 14 million trips as of November 2014. Similar programs operate in Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and many other US cities. The technology is growing globally, with major new systems in Asia, Europe and South America.
Although successful, traditional bicycle share programs are somewhat limited by factors such as the distance that can be covered on a traditional pedal-powered bicycle, steep terrain, dispersed land use patterns, potential users’ fitness and comfort levels, or the level of effort that needs to be expended in making a trip. Electric bicycles offer an opportunity to open traditional bicycle share systems to a broader set of users by offering a solution to these issues.
The objective of this study, funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is to develop a concept for an electric bicycle share program that can overcome some of the limitations of traditional, stationbased bicycle share programs.