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Metro Bike Share has added electric bikes to its bike-share fleet in central Los Angeles. The bikes are available at docks throughout downtown L.A., Chinatown, USC/University Park, Pico Union, MacArthur Park, and Koreatown.
Studies have shown that e-bike bike-share makes riding easier for many who don’t often do so – especially women, people over 55 years old, and folks with physical limitations.
The new e-bikes are similar to those Metro piloted in late 2018. Earlier this year in other cities, some bike-share e-bikes had been recalled due to braking issues. Metro representatives say the L.A. e-bikes have the appropriate improved brakes.
The e-bikes provide an electric assist at speeds up to 17 mph.
Metro e-bikes are pedal-assist, so, unlike a Bird or Wheels e-scooter, the electric power is activated by pedaling and not just by a throttle. The electric-assist mechanism is made by Bosch, whose spokesperson Steven Sheffield described it as providing the most natural ride possible. Per Sheffield, the sensors and drive, located along the chain, provide for a lower center of gravity, making for a more stable and better balanced ride.
Spot electric bikes by looking for the green lightning bolt icon in the map available online or in the app.
The e-bikes themselves are white, in contrast to the black conventional pedal-power bikes.
Metro is adding “more than 300” electric bikes. The system is also expanding with more than 20 new central L.A. docking stations to be added this summer.
As part of the initial roll-out, the e-bikes are currently available at regular Metro Bike Share prices: $1.75 per 30-minute ride, or $5/day, $17/month or $150/year. After August 31, e-bike users will pay a small additional cost: $1 for pay-per-ride or 50 cents per ride for pass holders. There are also reduced rates available for seniors, people with disabilities, and students.