UPDATE: San Francisco E-Bike Fleet Will Be Restored Months Before NYC

Citi Bike's popular e-bikes will be banned on the West Side Greenway. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Citi Bike's popular e-bikes will be banned on the West Side Greenway. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

This just in: Lyft will restore e-bike service for its bike-share customers in San Francisco at least three months before the same bikes return to the streets of New York City.

One day after Streetsblog reported exclusively that the grounded e-bike fleet would return to the Big Apple after Sept. 21, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that e-bikes would be restored by June in Baghdad by the Bay, where the system is called Ford GoBike.

A Lyft spokeswoman said that the company needed to fix its problem in San Francisco first because so many of the Bay Area bikes were the electric-assist kind.

“Almost half of the GoBike fleet was removed when we took the e-bikes off the street, so it’s important that we bring the Bay Area system back to its full fleet level as quickly as possible,” Lyft spokeswoman Julie Wood told Streetsblog this morning.

Roughly 1,000 e-bikes had been removed from San Francisco and New York due to the front-brake problem. But New York’s 12,000-bike system was not crippled by the loss of the e-bikes. Though e-bike fans were obviously disappointed, Citi Bike maintained fleet size by redeploying its “classic” bikes.

Another explanation for the rapid fix in San Fran: Lyft’s competitor Uber operates electric Jump bikes in the same zone in Frisco. In New York City, Lyft enjoys a monopoly over its existing service area.

Wood confirmed that when Lyft e-bikes return to San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., they will include a new model. Some of the bikes in New York will be repaired versions of the popular pedal-assist bikes that New Yorkers had quickly come to love for their speed.

Data: Citi Bike
Data: Citi Bike

During its initial deployment, Citi Bike e-bikes were typically ridden five times more per day than the average “classic” bike, the company said.

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