THE operator for Aberdeen’s new electric bike hire scheme was today announced as Big Issue ShareBike Ltd which sees ShareBike, an established Norwegian bike hire company, team up with The Big Issue to launch Big Issue eBikes.
The scheme will see about 450 ebikes initially being installed at various locations around the city and people will be able to book the bikes primarily through a smartphone app although web-based and telephone bookings will also be available.
People will be able to book an ebike through a monthly subscription scheme or on a pay-as-you-go basis. Using a mobile phone and personal code, a GPS system will identify bike availability to start the trip and also the available parking spaces at the end of the journey.
It is anticipated the scheme will be launched in the late summer 2021 depending on the Covid-19 pandemic which may affect supply of parts for the ebikes and any coronavirus restrictions at the time.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “I’m delighted that we are partnering with The Big Issue and ShareBike to bring this ebikes scheme to Aberdeen.
“If we are to achieve local, national, and international climate change targets we need to reduce vehicle emissions within the city and encourage more people to use sustainable transport and embrace active travel. This scheme will give local residents and visitors the opportunity to travel around the city without adding to their carbon footprint and will ensure Aberdeen is a cleaner and greener place to live, work and visit now and in the future.”
As well as individuals, it is anticipated businesses will be interested in subscribing to the scheme as they look to increase the travel options open to their staff and choose more sustainable forms of transport to commute to and from work or to travel the last miles more sustainably.
ShareBike is sourcing the ebikes and developing the app whilst The Big Issue will recruit locally to undertake the maintenance for tasks such as bike re-distribution, bike maintenance, contact centre, and battery charging.
Founder of The Big Issue, Lord John Bird said: “Today, we celebrate our first Big Issue ebikes public tender win with Aberdeen City Council. We are greatly looking forward to working in partnership with the council to deliver a friendly, accessible service across the area that will, in turn, recruit and retrain unemployed and vulnerable people in the local community and provide them with access to support and services to improve their lives.
“To add, by renting an ebike from us, you will also be playing your part towards cutting harmful carbon emissions. So, not only will you be doing good for the environment, but you will be doing good for others. You will be ‘Biking for good’.”
Founder of ShareBike AS Jan Tore Endresen said: “With more than 20 years’ experience making it faster and more convenient for people to get around without a car, we’re very excited our joint venture with The Big Issue will bring a fleet of affordable, reliable and high-quality ebikes to Aberdeen.
“We look forward to working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and the local community to increase local transport options that not only encourage less traffic on the roads, but help the local population get more active, more often too.”
Any individuals or businesses wanting to register their interest in securing annual subscriptions prior to the scheme’s launch and can do this by contacting Big Issue ShareBike at email@example.com.