BionX Bike Share?

by Jack R. on December 6, 2012

In November of 2010, BionX participated in a 4 week bike share trial in Sacramento California.  Partnering with Ecotron Systems, which was tasked with designing the e-bike docks, BionX donated a fleet of e-bikes to the Sacramento campus of the California Energy Environmental Protection Agency to test a new bike share model, designed to make bicycle commuting easy and accessible for all different types of people and all different levels of riders.  Since 2010, Sacramento has participated in numerous bike share trials, and, at least so far, they haven’t gone forward and implemented the BionX technology on a larger scale.  Nevertheless, I think they were onto something. 

Bike Shares and E-bike technology

BionX Bike

BionX Bike

Over the last few years various types of bike share programs have popped up all around the globeIn England, a bike share program has been instituted which makes Brompton folding bikes accessible via Brompton Docks located throughout major cities;  In Washington DC,  Capital Bikeshare has made more than 1670 bikes available at over 170 different locations; and in the spring the CitiBike bike share program should officially begin in New York City.  So why have none of these programs decided to take advantage of e-bike technology?

The goal of Public Transit is to provide cheap and easy transportation for as many people as possible.  Of course, in a crowded city like New York you should put an asterisk over the words “cheap” and “easy.”  Anyone who has spent an hour going 20 blocks on a bus or spent $1200 a year on subway passes can tell you that it’s not always a picnic.  A Bike Share is a fantastic alternative, but it’s not viable for a large percentage of the commuting population.  But a Bike Share program using BionX Technology would not only provide a quick and affordable way to get around the city, but it would also make the program a realistic alternative for a much larger range of people.

Advantages of a BionX Bike Share

BionX Bike

BionX Bike

A refresher all new comers, BionX is a company that makes an electric conversion kit able to convert a regular bicycle into a powerful E-bike.  A bike using the BionX Motor can be pedaled like a regular bike, but click a button and a powerful Electric motor will assist your pedaling, making it possible to go up steep inclines with ease, or ride much longer distances without exhausting yourself.  A bike share program using BionX bikes is thus much more accessible to a much larger demographic.  The rider who moved 10 miles outside of Manhattan and needs a way to bike to work everyday without getting too tired, the older couple who wants to bike around central park, but needs a little electric assistance, or the average car driver who wastes their paycheck in gas bills, spends hours stuck in traffic watching bikers pass by, but doesn’t have the energy to commute on a regular bike.  Feasibly, I would say 90% of the people driving to work in Manhattan don’t really need a car, would have more fun, get around faster, and be in better shape if they rode a BionX Bike. 

I really think Sacramento had it figured out with their BionX Bike Share trial.  I’m sure their are many logistical factors that need to be worked out before it becomes feasible to implement this kind of system but, I do daydream about a New York filled with bikes instead of cars.  While we wait for the electric bike sharing trend to take hold, don’t forget, you can always go out and buy a BionX Bike of your own.

All for now




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