Richmond, CA, — The City of Richmond, California, is teaming up with Bolt Mobility (Bolt) to launch the city’s first bikeshare program, with an all electric-assist fleet of e-bikes. Starting this week, 250 e-bikes will begin coming online, and continue over the course of the summer, integrating with and enhancing the local transportation system.
“Richmond is perhaps the best city in the Bay Area to get around on a bike. We have more San Francisco Bay Trail than any other city in the Bay Area. Our commitment to health and mobility has led to the development of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path, Richmond Greenway, Richmond Wellness Trail, Yellow Brick Road, and more,” said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. “I look forward to residents riding Bolt’s e-bikes to the Ferry Terminal to get to San Francisco, to the Richmond Transit Center to catch a train, or to one of the many community assets that will now be just a short bike ride away.”
The e-bikes are similar to standard bicycles, but with an electric motor that provides a subtle boost, helping riders increase distances with less effort (and sweat). The e-bikes are comfortable, ergonomic, and include a spacious basket for errands and a cable lock for security.
Riders can access and return the e-bikes at conveniently located transportation hubs, which are designed to prevent e-bikes from cluttering streets. Hub locations at the ferry terminal and BART stations conveniently extend the transit system from home to office, helping reduce commute times.
Payment plans are available, as are options for people who do not have access to credit or debit cards. Through sponsorship from 511 Contra Costa, the unlock fee for the pay-as-you-go plan will be waived for up to five rides to encourage new riders to try the program. In addition, the Bolt Forward program offers reduced rates to qualified individuals on government assistance.
Bolt will also provide free helmets to riders, upon request. Other safety features include pedal-assisted acceleration, rather than a throttle, and a speed cap of 15 mph while on the Bay Trail.
Riders will be required to download the new “Gotcha Powered by Bolt” app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Playstore. The app is integrated with the MTC Clipper Card system, so users without a smartphone can still access the e-bikes.
“Richmond is building for the future,” said Bolt CEO Ignacio Tzoumas. “Through this partnership, we can leverage Bolt’s technology to help reduce pollution, improve congestion, provide transportation to the underserved, and shorten commute times.”
The program is made possible in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Bike Share Capital Grant program, aimed at expanding bicycle access and facilitating bicycle transportation in connection with transit. MTC manages the Clipper transit-fare payment system in partnership with Bay Area transit agencies.