Canberra e-bike library set to grow due to demand | The Canberra Times Leave a comment


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Additional bikes are set to be added to Canberra’s electric-bike library, as demand for the service grows. The initiative, which allows Canberrans to loan an electric bike for two weeks to test them out before buying one, has encouraged more than 40 people use the service since it was set up mid last year. However, the waiting list for people to hire the electric bikes has expanded to more than 200 people. See-Change, the organisation that runs the library, said it was looking to add extra vehicles to the fleet to help clear the waiting list, as well as potentially shortening the loan time from 14 to 10 days. Executive officer Brook Clinton said more people were looking to see how electric bikes would fit into their lives and daily routine. “The waiting list has expanded as more people have heard about it,” Ms Clinton said. “The bike fleet at the moment is small, but we’re hoping to see the pilot extended and allow for more people to try out the bikes.” The pilot program was initially slated to run until June this year. Ms Clinton said the cost of electric bikes, with basic models starting at around $5000, had been a deterrent for many wanting to buy one of the vehicles, and that the library was helping people to make up their minds on a potential purchase. “There are some standard e-bikes that people can try or there’s other models that are more suited to carrying children or other passengers, and others that are accessible for older people,” Ms Clinton said. Paris Lord was one of the Canberrans who loaned one of the electric bikes from the library in December last year. While the Hawker resident already had a small electric bike for his own use, he was in the market for a larger cargo e-bike, which could take more weight and more passengers. “It was a lot weirder to ride at first because they’re much longer than a standard bike,” he said. “The main thing was that it was so much fun. I hoped initially that it would also be able to carry my greyhound in it … but it could also carry supplies from Bunnings and bags of groceries. “There are alternatives to using a car and the electric-bike library was a way to try to find that alternative.” Christopher Budd had also loaned a bike from the library for the fortnight back in October. He said he had been considering getting a new bike, but was not sure about the cost of an electric model. “It basically became the second family car,” Mr Budd said. “We had it for two weeks but it only took two days to make a decision to buy one.” In recent weeks, the bike library had been running single sessions for people to try the e-bikes in order to help clear some of the waiting list. While many had taken to trying the bikes for a short period of time, Mr Budd said the two-week trial the library gave to people was a way to really test its use. “When you test out a bike from a bike store for just an hour, it’s not really the same,” he said. For faster access to the latest Canberra news, download The Canberra Times app for iOS and Android.

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