Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the electric-assist bicycles were designed and built for BCycle.
ENCINITAS, Calif. — The City of Encinitas is rolling out a new electric bike share program this fall.
Encinitas City Council approved the service last week. It will be operated by BCycle, a subsidiary of Trek.
Electric-assist bicycles designed and built for BCycle will be available for single rides. Riders will also have the options of monthly programs, and discounted programs for students and seniors. Bike docking stations will be placed across the city.
“When you have that pedal assist turned on, which you can switch on and off during your ride, it’ll just give you a little boost,” said BCycle Executive Director Morgan Ramaker. “The boost stops at a certain speed, it’s at 17 mph that it tops out. If you want to pedal faster than that you, can, but it always takes your power and just amplifies it.”
Ramaker believes the program will be more organized and avoid issues that come from dockless scooters being abandoned on sidewalks and in front of homes.
“We feel like we’ve found a good in-between, which is a more streamlined docking system that adapts more and can be flexible but also keeps that order and reliability, which really allows us to maintain a good system. People know where the bikes are going to be. It’s not that nuisance that you might see in some places.”
Also during Bike Anywhere Week, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher celebrated the success of the Pedal Ahead program, connecting pedal assist bikes with people in the community who are willing to provide data about their ridership.
At the conclusion of the program, the goal is for the participant to keep bike.
“This really is a tremendous model,” said Fletcher.