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Public e-bikes are finally available in Vancouver

Hills just got a whole lot easier.
Bike-sharing service Mobi is celebrating its sixth anniversary by launching e-bikes across Vancouver.

Mobi bikes by Shaw Go are all over the city.

The service, which celebrates its sixth year in operation this year, estimates that it is used by over 400,000 users who have completed over four million trips spanning more than 11 million kilometres. "By choosing to get around by bike instead of a car, Vancouver's bike share members have kept 3,347,938 kg of carbon emissions out of the environment," says a recent press release, "that's the equivalent to driving a vehicle 13,374,083 km or using 1,244,923 L of fuel."

To celebrate they are launching e-bikes.

The addition of 500 e-bikes, also known as electric-assist bicycles, brings the number of Mobi bikes on the road up to 2,500 bikes over 250 stations, 50 of which are new and 30 of which are e-stations.

The program is also working on expanding in all directions around Vancouver in an effort to more widely spread its energy-efficient, low-emission initiative. 

The goal is to reduce transportation emissions, which according to the press release is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

The e-bikes offer pedal assistance up to 25 kilometres an hour and have three e-assist levels and three gears so aid people of all fitness levels on hills or help them ride further faster.

“We are thrilled to be adding e-bikes to the Mobi system,” says Mia Kohout, General Manager of Vancouver Bike Share in a media release. “When e-bikes have been adopted in bike share systems around the world, ridership usually significantly increases as e-bikes make getting around by bike more accessible to a wider group of people, particularly in a city like ours with lots of hills. We are excited for our members and new users to experience the ease of riding with a little extra boost.”

The bike share service says it has" established battery handling protocols based on manufacturer's guidelines and on industry best practices, and our e-bike and charging infrastructure is certified for safe use," addingL "Our e-bike batteries are enclosed within the aluminum frame and all charging occurs at certified e-docks and e-charging stations."

Users can find available e-bikes via the app and Mobi assures that docking an e-bike is no different than docking a regular Mobi bike. Members pay an incremental per minute fee for riding Mobi e-bikes which varies depending on if it's being used by a short-term or long-term pass holder or a member of the equity program.

There is also a special designation for people with disabilities as part of the Community Pass which provides unlimited free 60-minute trips on e-bikes in an effort to make the program accessible to those who require pedal assistance to ride a bike.

For people planning on using the e-bikes regularly, annual members will have access to the lowest rates at $0.15 per minute and unlimited 30 or 60-minute trips on regular bikes for no additional cost. There is also a Pay-As-You-Go plan where users can unlock an e-bike for $1.50 and pay $0.35 per minute to ride. Classic bikes can be unlocked for $1 and cyclists pay $0.25 per minute to ride.