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Electric bike rental program will roll out later this month in Santa Barbara

Bcycle
A Bcycle electric bike rental project will be launched at the end of January in Santa Barbara. (Photo: Bcycle)
Bcycle
A Bcycle electric bike rental project will be launched at the end of January in Santa Barbara. (Photo:KEYT)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The wheels are in motion for an electric bike rental program to be launched later this month in Santa Barbara.

The original plan for a mid-month start is being changed slightly to the end of January, due to the COVID-19 slowdown.

General manager of Bcycle Jesse Rosenberg says docking stations have gone in along the State Street promenade, on the Westside, the Eastside and up on the Mesa.

"We have all our docks lined up on State Street, so we are good to go on State Street," said Rosenberg. "We're just testing docks."

She says the company wants to give those renting the electric bikes, "the best experience they can."  

The Bcycles will be available with fees by the half-hour, by the month or with an annual plan.

They can be activated and unlocked by your phone.

A special app will show you where they are located and where they can be returned.

The information on your phone will also feature safe bike routes and allow you a secure payment process.

The Bcycles will have a top speed of 17 miles per hour.

This program went through a city review as part of the Santa Barbara effort to encourage more bike riding and less vehicle traffic.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, with more people seeking outdoor options to recreate, the electric bike business has been very strong. Some sellers say they had their best year ever in 2020.

The Bcycle option is already in use in other cities and serves both the casual rider and the everyday rider.

After the Santa Barbara project begins, there will be an effort to see a similar set up in Carpinteria and Goleta nearby.

For more information, visit Bcycles.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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