Let’s face it, we live in a city known for traffic and the population in Houston is on the rise.
One alternative to sitting in traffic is hopping on a bike. Houston BCycle is expanding and they’re putting electric bicycles to the test.
“E-bikes, with that extra boost, just get you where you need to go a lot quicker with low effort," said Beth Martin, the executive director of Houston Bike Share.
You just get on and bike like normal, but these bikes work to amplify your pedaling power. You can choose how much of a boost you want by selecting different modes on a small screen on the handlebar.
The electric bikes are part of a pilot program that runs through the end of 2019. For now, there are only five of them, but Houston BCycle would like to add more to their fleet.
“Houston is a bike friendly city. I mean, we can get there. We have the potential for people to be able to commute by bike and I think that the electric bikes are going to help convince the rest of Houston that that’s true," explained Martin.
So far, the pilot program is showing that the e-bikes are getting ridden twice as much as the classics.
“When cities convert their entire fleet to an electric bike, we are seeing people reporting eight times the trip ridership on those bikes," explained Martin.
Converting the whole fleet to e-bikes is not part of the plan here in Houston; they’ll keep the classics around-- but all of this research and feedback is helping them gauge interest.
“I could see us becoming more of a biker town you could say," said Houston resident, Steven Mathew.
Kristen Stamps, another Bayou City resident, agrees. “It just sounds fun and probably could get me faster to where I need to go without pedaling so much.”
The e-bikes are in high demand and can be a little tough to find. When you’re using the BCycle app, just look for the lightning bolt symbol to find out where you can start riding one!
Houston BCycle wants to hear from you, so get out there and ride one of these electric bikes and let them know what you think!
You can find out more about the BCycle system, including where the stations are located around the city, by clicking here. You can ride these bikes as a guest or by purchasing a monthly or yearly membership.