With a donation from Uber Technologies, we are currently pursuing the deployment of locally run bike libraries in communities across the country with the goal of creating community controlled transportation options that are completely free to use. As these bikes are a donation, we have the ability to really work with groups providing these bikes at a fraction of the cost of buying.
What is the Bike Library concept?
While traditional shared mobility services like bike sharing may overlook the poor, working class, and communities of color, E-Bike Libraries focus on empowerment of these folks through sustainable, community controlled transportation programming. E-Bike Libraries are led by community based organizations and offer electric assist bikes free of charge to community members. Removing this cost of borrowing bikes from members, gets more people biking while also facilitating enhanced access to jobs, services and recreational opportunities in their cities.
Members of E-Bike Libraries are introduced to the service through face to face (or virtual in the COVID era) interactions, building impactful relationships between community based organizations and members. This process includes education on bicycle safety, how the bikes work, trip planning, and basic introduction to cycling culture. Unlike traditional shared bicycle models, bikes can be rented for shorter as well as extended periods of time, better suiting the mobility needs of members. Members rely on the community organization for general bike maintenance and e-bike battery charging.
Community based organizations can leverage their e-bikes for their own programmatic goals. This may include workforce development and education on device maintenance, led by a local bicycle cooperative. It could also include promoting job and healthy food access, as well as advancing healthy lifestyles through physical activity and fresh air. Furthering a wide variety of goals, Bike Libraries may flex to best reflect the organizations leading them as well as the communities they serve.
We are looking for help!
Are you a community based organization that could use a fleet of e-bikes for your programs? Are you a founder that is interested in bringing services like this to your constituency? Please contact us at: Info@sharedmobility.org