Challenge / Goal
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is located approximately 10km to the east of the city centre. It is less well served by the cycling network and infrastructure. Due to this, private companies recently started to introduce regular and electric dockless bike sharing schemes to the area. However, there is not at present an integrated, city-wide e-bike sharing scheme in London.
Electric bikes (including e-Cargo bikes) have been part of a wide range of low carbon mobility measures supporting the borough's Low Emission Neighbourhood programme.
As part of Sharing Cities, Greenwich tested a borough-led electric bike sharing scheme and a rental model to encourage the uptake of e-bikes. The scheme allowed residents to borrow an e-bike for a month for just £10 (to cover insurance). Residents then had the chance to buy the e-bike at a discount price after their loan period ended.
E-bike loan sessions were held every month (operated and managed by the local community group CACT), with a fleet of 30 bikes available on site. These gave local residents the chance to pick-up or return a bike (before it is then serviced and passed on to the next resident). Priority was given to car owners who didn’t currently cycle. This maximised the opportunity to encourage modal shift away from cars.
To understand how the bikes were being used and behaviour changed, riders tracked their journeys via travel diaries, and the bikes were fitted with GPS units. The scheme was also integrated into the borough’s cycle training programme.
Greenwich decided to first explore the local community’s demands and needs, and whether these could be met by an e-bike scheme. Greenwich carried out extensive demand analysis before rolling out any measures. This meant local people were engaged and the solution was appropriate for their needs. Users can book the e-bikes directly via the Greenwich.gov website. They can also provide feedback on the council’s community platform, which allows residents to have their say on local schemes and projects. The borough partnered with local community groups that were already well established within the borough, to deliver the scheme to residents.
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