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St. Petersburg's bike-share fleet is going electric

The St. Petersburg City Council approved a new vendor for its bike share program, saving on some operating expenses and acquiring all new e-Bikes.
Craig Kopp
/
WUSF Public Media
The St. Petersburg City Council approved a new vendor for its bike share program last week, saving on some operating expenses and acquiring all new e-Bikes.

The city's aging fleet of pedal bikes will be replaced with pedal-assist e-Bikes.

St. Petersburg's bike share program is about to go all electric.

The St. Petersburg City Council approved a new vendor for its bike share program last week, saving on some operating expenses and acquiring all new e-Bikes.

This type of e-Bike only supplies power when pedaled. And, director of transportation and parking Evan Mory said, they only supply so much power.

"The electric motors will stop assisting somebody once they reach 15 miles an hour," Mory said. "So we're not going to have electric bicycles going 25 miles an hour."

The same rules for electric scooters in St. Petetdnith will apply to e Bikes, so they cannot be ridden on sidewalks.

They cannot be used as just plain pedal bikes, but city transportation manager Cheryl Stacks says that's probably a good thing.

"You cannot not turn off electric assist, but I think it's important to recognize that these bikes are really sturdy," Stacks said. "They're 70 pounds. So you're probably going to want a little bit of help getting going on a 70 pound bike."

It will cost $1 to unlock a bike-share e-Bike and 39 cents a minute to use one. The new e-Bikes should hit St. Petersburg streets after the middle of April.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.
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