Jul 6, 2022 - News

Detroit mobility office pilots e-bike program

Reproduced from the city of Detroit; Note: Numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding; Chart: Axios Visuals

In an effort to promote cycling as a realistic commuting option, Detroit's Office of Mobility Innovation provided 110 workers electric bikes last year.

Driving the news: Employees at grocery stores, health care facilities, nonprofits and elsewhere leased e-bikes for $15 a month from May to October.

  • The city and private partners measured their thoughts with surveys released in a recent report evaluating the program.
  • Nearly 80% of participants said the e-bike met their needs "somewhat" or "very" well, and 66% wanted to lease for longer — but some also expressed concerns about their safety while biking.
  • Just over a quarter used the bike often to get to work.

Flashback: The e-bike program started out as a potential solution for essential workers who lacked reliable transit options and feared COVID-19 transmission on buses in 2020.

Yes, but: Bicycles — let alone pricier e-bikes — don't work for everyone, and the city's unreliable mass bus transit also continues to pose a big challenge.

  • There's also debate about whether the city should be spending time and money building road infrastructure for bicycles, as opposed to other potentially more crucial needs like affordable housing.

Of note: For those who do cycle, the 27.5-mile Joe Louis Greenway that's under construction reaches a new milestone today. A media event is planned to celebrate the pouring of concrete paths for the cross-city loop.


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