Bringing E-Bike Joy to the Burbs
Can the urban enthusiasm for bike share spread to the suburbs?
June 24, 2019: Getting around Elk Grove, Folsom, and Rancho Cordova is about to get a little more electric and a little more fun.
The three cities, SACOG, and Gotcha, a bike share company, have come together to launch a pilot program that will bring electric bikes to the cities (and a few scooters in Elk Grove). This new pilot program is the first opportunity for the Sacramento region to test the concept of suburban bike share. The pilot will test the bikes in a suburban environment and shed light on how a system not primarily focused in an urban core could provide residents new mobility options.
To date, bike share and scooter systems across the country have focused their efforts on city downtowns and urban cores, due to the density of human activity, including housing, jobs, and entertainment. As these mobility systems become more ingrained into everyday travel behavior for urban residents, residents in suburban areas should also have more travel options.
Bike share systems in suburban developments have been dismissed due to perceived barriers that would not lead to successful systems, including low density and a lack of bicycle racks, infrastructure, and desired destinations. However, this new pilot program will provide an opportunity to explore how people in more car-orientated communities can get out of their cars and onto bikes and scooters, which will help to tackle greenhouse gas emission reductions.
These systems also have the potential to become a catalyst for increased infrastructure improvements and become a reliable option for transportation for people. These pilots will shed light on some of the region’s suburban communities’ travel behaviors and how shared systems can change behavior by testing, learning, and adapting.
“The City of Rancho Cordova is excited to launch a Bike Share pilot program in the City of Rancho Cordova,” said Rancho Cordova Vice Mayor David Sander, who also chairs SACOG. “The Bike Share pilot program will provide an easy-to-use, affordable, and healthy way to travel throughout our bronze-level, bicycle-friendly City. Rancho Cordova has connected neighborhoods and business parks, 25 miles of bike and pedestrian trails, and beautiful six miles of American River Parkway trails for cyclists to enjoy.”
Through SACOG’s streamlined purchasing process that allows local governments to procure joint services, and a SACOG Innovations Grant, the cities and SACOG were able to negotiate with Gotcha a $150,000 bike share pilot program. The contract will provide each city up to $50,000 for the cost of planning and launching the program. Each city will tailor the program to its unique needs and receive a minimum of 50 devices, which can be all bikes or a mixture of scooters and bikes. The new systems will launch later this year and the projected prices are listed below.
The cities and Gotcha are planning the site locations with a focus on transit connections for residents. Each city will work independently with Gotcha to finalize the system boundaries and the mix of devices.
|Asset Type||Payment Plan||Cost Details|
|E-Bike||Pay as you Go||$2 to unlock $0.10 per minute after|
|E-Bike||Monthly Membership||$9.99 per month (one hour of usage daily)|
|E-Bike||Annual Membership||$79.99 per year (one hour of usage daily)|
|E-Scooter||Pay as you Go||$1 to unlock $0.15 per minute after|
|E-Bike + E-Scooter||Go Pass||$29.99 per month (one hour of usage per device per day)|
|E-Bike||Equity Program Pricing (for low-to moderate- income residents)*||$1 to unlock (30 min of usage daily) $0.05 per minute after|
*Equity pricing will be available to anyone currently enrolled in one of the following programs:
- SMUD Energy Assistance Program
- PG&E CARE
- Cal Fresh