Derby’s new electric bike sharing scheme will be unveiled to the public at a showcase event later this week.
A selection of the state-of-the-art ebikes will be in the Market Place from 1.00pm to 3.00pm on Thursday 28th June.
Members of the public will be able to test the ebikes and find out more about the scheme, which is set to roll out across the city from the end of June.
The Mayor of Derby, Councillor Mike Carr, and Cycle Champion Councillor Lucy Care, along with eBikes Derby representatives will attend the event and local businesses will also be invited.
There will be 200 ebikes in the scheme, provided by US-based Social Bicycles, at 30 hubs across the city, and the day-to-day running will be handled by Hourbike, the UK’s longest established bikeshare operator in the UK.
The technology behind the ebikes is currently only being used in New York and San Francisco and this will be the UK’s largest electric bikeshare scheme.
Customers pay 3p per minute to ride the ebikes (there’s a minimum charge of £1 per rental) after signing up through the Social Bicycles app or via the eBikes Derby website (www.ebikesderby.com) There is a maximum daily charge of £12 and customers can pre-load credit onto their account.
Tim Caswell, owner and managing director of Hourbike, said he was excited to be showing the ebikes to the Derby public next week. He said:
“This will be a great opportunity for people to try out the ebikes and once they do we are sure they will love them. This is bikeshare on a whole new level and very different to the existing bikeshare services that people may have tried in other cities. The electric assist really makes a different to the effort required and the enjoyment you get from riding them. The ebikes really are a faster, easier and effortless way of getting around the city and we look forward to meeting the Derby public on Thursday at the showcase event.”
Docking stations will be based across the city at various University of Derby sites, Rolls-Royce, the Railway Station, Derby Arena, the Council House, the Market Place, Victoria Street, The Spot, Castle Ward, the Roundhouse, Royal Derby Hospital and the Rail Technology Centre.
Plans for the bikeshare were first revealed by Derby City Council last year, after the authority took part in a competitive bid to win funding for a sustainable transport alternative for the city. The bid was successful and a £450k grant was awarded for Derby to receive a bikeshare scheme. The university then came on board as a key partner, contributing £100k to the scheme’s running costs.
Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection said:
“Cycle hire schemes bring many benefits to a city, for residents, students, workers and visitors. It provides a viable transport alternative that will not only help to mitigate the impacts of poor air quality, and growing levels of congestion across the city, but also improve people’s health and fitness levels. I encourage everyone to come and see first hand just how easy it is to get around the city on the electric bikes and the benefits of joining the scheme”.
Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, added:
“I am delighted that the University is working in partnership with Derby City Council to launch the Derby electric bike share scheme. The new scheme is great news for the city and a fantastic opportunity for our students and staff to leave their car keys at home and get out and about on a bike to cycle across campus sites in the city.
“As well as reaping the health and well-being benefits of exercising in the fresh air, it will also lead to cost-savings and better air quality for the city too.”