Houston's Bike Share Is Testing Out Electric Bikes

Gail Delaughter | Houston Public Media

Houston BCycle has now added four electric bikes to its fleet as part of a pilot program.

The e-bikes have a battery-powered motor that can reach speeds of up to 17 mph. In the front basket of the bike there’s a solar panel that helps recharge the battery pack.

BCycle Executive Director Beth Martin said she hopes the battery-powered bikes can help bring in new riders since they’re good for people with physical limitations.

“I think Houston is just perfectly situated for e-bike ridership throughout our fleet,” said Martin. “That’s why we wish, if we had the funding source, to just replace all of our classic bikes with e-bikes.”

Riders will be able to give their feedback on the e-bikes over the next couple of months. After the feedback stage, Martin said the plan is to find a funding source for more e-bikes.

“Beyond private sponsorships, many bike share systems benefit from subsidies from their local government,” said Martin. “We hope that with enough support from the community, we can seek funding from the City of Houston to support a full fleet of BCycle e-bikes.”

A small lightning bolt on the BCycle app will show the stations where the e-bikes are currently available.

Henry Morris