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Citi Bike e-bikes nearing return to New York streets

Published November 25, 2019

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Lyft is close to reintroducing e-bikes back into its New York bike-share system with improved batteries and brakes.

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According to a blog post on Nov. 22, Citi Bikes will return this "winter" after the company initially promised the fall. Some Citi Bike riders reported excessive front brake force threw them over the handlebars in April. Then in July, battery fires sidelined Lyft's e-bikes in San Francisco, further delaying the New York relaunch. Lyft said it is working with a new battery supplier.

Before the battery fires, Lyft reintroduced rebranded Bay Wheels e-bikes in San Francisco with a new front brake, the Tektro MD-M300 cable-actuated disc. It replaced the Shimano Nexus Inter-M Hub Roller Brake, which was spec'd on the Citi Bikes. Lyft continues to use the Nexus Inter-M rear brake.

"It's taken longer than anticipated to get all the necessary components for the new bikes and complete safety testing, but we're making progress," Citi Bike wrote in the post. "We expect to initially launch several hundred e-bikes this winter and will gradually ramp up to a larger fleet."

Along with the Citi Bikes' return will be a new pricing plan that will lower upfront costs by eliminating a $2 per ride flat fee. Citi Bike said 80% of members' e-bike rides are less than 20 minutes. The fees are to help with maintenance costs.

Nobody was injured when the two Bay Wheels e-bikes caught fire, and vandalism was not ruled out initially. Earlier this month, Lyft and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency agreed on a new four-year contract. That came after the city threatened to rescind Lyft's permit if the e-bike service wasn't restored.

Topics associated with this article: Bikeshare, Electric bike

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