Electric Bikes Will Be Back This Winter
We know our riders love pedal-assist electric bikes — and we love them too. You’ve been patiently waiting for their return, and today we want to let you know that will happen this winter. While we hoped to have them back this fall, we are taking extra time to make sure they’re safe and ready for New York City streets.
As you know, earlier this year we removed ebikes after some riders experienced stronger-than-expected braking force on the front wheel. Several months after that, we also experienced challenges with batteries on our ebikes in the Bay Area. Those issues led us to work with a new battery supplier while we simultaneously redesigned the bike’s brake setup. It’s taken longer than anticipated to get all the necessary components for the new bikes and complete safety testing, but we’re making progress. We expect to initially launch several hundred ebikes this winter and will gradually ramp up to a larger fleet. We’re sorry for the delay and appreciate your patience. While we know you’ve been missing ebikes, you’ve been riding classic bikes more than ever — we’ve had record ridership all summer and fall.
Lowering Upfront Pricing For Electric Bikes
Before the braking issue, we announced plans to implement a $2 charge on every ebike ride to help us keep up with the costs of keeping ebikes powered and available. We heard your feedback. Members told us they did not want to pay a flat charge every time they chose an ebike. We’ve landed on new pricing: a $0.10 per minute charge for annual Citi Bike members, and a $0.15 per minute charge for non-members when choosing an ebike. Now you’ll pay only for the length of time you ride instead of a flat fee no matter how far you’re going.
We’ve done the math, and the majority of riders will pay less for ebike rides with per minute pricing. When ebikes were in service, 80% of member ebike rides were under 20 minutes.
Members’ ebike charges will also be capped at $2 for rides 45 minutes or less beginning and/or ending outside Manhattan and we’re removing the two-minute wait period between rides, so riders can quickly swap from an ebike to a classic (and vice versa) during a trip. We know ebikes are great for crossing steep bridges, and we want to help riders farther from Manhattan commute across the East River conveniently and affordably. We’ll also continue to offer a strong equity program, with Reduced Fare Bike Share members paying only $0.05 per minute if they choose an electric bike.
Per minute pricing more accurately reflects the true cost of operating ebikes, since longer rides use more battery life. This new pricing structure will help us provide riders with the best service possible — particularly our members, whose loyalty we value — and will go into effect as soon as ebikes return this winter.
Lowering Extra Time Fees
Beginning January 15, we are also reducing and simplifying extra time fees. Members will now pay $0.15 per minute after the included 45 minutes, instead of a full $2.50 every 15 minutes. Riders with a Single Ride pass will also pay $0.15 per minute after the included 30 minutes. These changes will eliminate a point of frustration and save riders money by only charging them for the time they use.
We’re dedicated to continuously improving the Citi Bike system as we move forward on our plan to grow the system by 35 square miles to reach many more neighborhoods while increasing the number of bikes to 40,000. If you have questions, we’re here to help — you can reach us here. We appreciate your patience and thank you for riding with us!