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“Capital Bikeshare announced today that it will expand its fleet of electric Capital Bikeshare Plus bikes to 500”

via Capital Bikeshare

From a press release:

“Capital Bikeshare announced today that it will expand its fleet of electric Capital Bikeshare Plus bikes to 500 under the pilot program which began in September 2018. The original pilot had 85 electric bikes. The ebikes – which are pedal-assist – provide an electric boost up to speeds of 18 mph and make it easier than ever to climb hills and travel longer distances. Early results from the program have shown the bikes to be very popular and will help riders get around the DC Metro area quickly and easily.

The additional ebikes will be added to the system beginning March 18 and gradually increased over several weeks. Because the ebikes have a higher cost than classic bikes and in order to support this new product and related operations, Capital Bikeshare is introducing a $1 unlock fee per ebike ride for riders beginning April 15. Riders who are eligible for Financial Assistance Programs will not be charged the fee.

Capital Bikeshare is metro DC’s bikeshare system, owned by Washington, DC; Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; and Fairfax County, VA.

“The District is committed to continued innovation for Capital Bikeshare, bringing new and improved products to our members, such as this significant expansion of the e-bike fleet,” said Jeff Marootian, DDOT Director. “With the many hills in the District, the increased number of ebikes in the fleet will make some neighborhoods easier to bike to, particularly in Wards 7 and 8 and we are proud to support this growth of the system.”

“We are very excited about this expansion of electric assist bikes in the Capital Bikeshare fleet,” said Jim Larsen, Bureau Chief of Arlington County Commuter Services. “We have already seen them used in ways that are greatly beneficial to our members, especially in hilly and less densely developed areas.”

“More ebikes in Alexandria’s Capital Bikeshare fleet is a game changer for people who might be interested in bicycling but unsure about their physical fitness for riding. Hills that once seemed daunting will be less of an issue with pedal-assist ebikes. These ebikes will also open up bicycle commuting as a viable option for more people this summer, when Metro is performing its station platform work,” said Yon Lambert, Director of Transportation & Environmental Services, City of Alexandria.

“The expansion of electric assist bikes opens up new possibilities for commuters in Montgomery County,” said Al Roshdieh, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. “The electric assist makes the bikes easier to use for a broader segment of the population since less effort is needed to propel the bicycle, allowing their use in more types of clothing and for more types of trips. The electric assist bikes are particularly helpful for longer bicycle rides and for rides in hilly terrain.”

“Prince George’s County is thrilled Capital Bikeshare’s Electric Bike Pilot Program is expanding,” said Terry Bellamy, Acting Director for Prince George’s County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation. “More bikes mean more ways for our citizens to navigate the County; plus, they’re convenient as they can be rented from any bikeshare station where they’re offered.”

“This is an exciting time in the National Capital Region as we continue to increase access to biking through innovation,” said Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager Nicole Wynands. “The enhanced e-bike fleet supports our goal of providing more opportunities for commuters and travelers in Fairfax County to try biking as a viable option even in the hilliest parts of the county including Tysons.”

Since the ebikes were introduced in September, they’ve been taken for more than 50,000 rides, and rider satisfaction reports were high.”

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