This year, Long Beach residents will be able to check out electric bikes for free as part of a program to incentivize zero-emission modes of travel around the city, officials announced Thursday.
The Electric Bike Lending Library program, which is expected to launch by the end of the year, will allow residents to check out a bike for up to three months.
Currently, the city is seeking a vendor partner to provide 30 to 40 e-bikes, including standard, cargo and tricycle models. Equipment such as helmets and bike locks will also likely be provided.
Cargo models are the most viable option for those looking to run errands as they have room for children or for shopping goods. Trike models offer more stability for riders.
E-bikes, officials said, are ideal for longer trips since riders don’t need to rely on physical stamina for the entire ride.
“Compared to traditional bicycles, e-bikes allow for longer trips and makes riding more accessible to people with a wide range of physical abilities,” according to a release from the city.
The e-bikes will be fully charged when lended out, spokesperson Joy Contreras said, though she added that patrons who intend to borrow the bikes for an extended period of time (like the maximum three-month period) would be expected to charge the e-bike at their home.
The city will offer training on how to safely operate an electric bike, Contreras added.
Long Beach is following the lead of other cities across California that have offered similar library lending programs to encourage communities to reduce the state’s carbon footprint.
The new program will be funded with $350,000 from the Long Beach Recovery Act, which funds public health initiatives for residents impacted by the pandemic.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more information from the city.