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Electric Bike Share Program to Pioneer in Berkeley, SF

Berkeley and San Francisco will be test cities for federally funded experiment to try a electric bicycle sharing, similar to car sharing, but more eco friendly. The UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center will evaluate the program.

Electric Bike Share Program to Pioneer in Berkeley, SF

By Sasha Lekach, Bay City News Service

Electric bicycles are coming to San Francisco and Berkeley next year as part of a bike sharing pilot program approved by transportation officials Tuesday.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors gave the go-ahead for a $1.5 million grant toward an electric bikeshare program that will partner with City CarShare and the University of California at Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center.

[Patch editor's note: The Berkeley City Council in June gave its approval for a contract with City CarShare to add electric bicycles and charging stations in the city.]

City CarShare is a Bay Area nonprofit member-based carsharing organization that serves San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and other East Bay cities.

In San Francisco, $740,000 will be diverted to the program that will offer electric bicycles to City CarShare members at 20 stations in San Francisco and Berkeley.

The other portion of the money will be used in Berkeley where the research group will monitor usage of the alternative travel option during the pilot that will end in 2018.

City CarShare will run and maintain the bicycles and stations. Electric bicycles have a low-powered motor that allow riders to reach up to 20 mph.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the program will launch in summer 2014.

Funding for the grant comes from the Federal Highway Administration.

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