The Big Issue eBike scheme has launched in Bristol - the first city to host the ‘exciting’ project before a wider UK roll-out.
It is hoped that a fleet of around 500 bikes will encourage active travel, reduce congestion and slash 1,900 car trips in Bristol alone, boosting the city’s Clean Air plan.
The Big Issue already has a strong presence in Bristol, with 30 local vendors selling nearly 1,500 copies a week - the company also helped to fund Campus Skate Park and Working Knowledge in Stoke Bishop.
As part of the eBike scheme, the company said it would recruit and retrain unemployed and vulnerable people across the city.
Paul Cheal, CEO of The Big Issue Group, said: “We are incredibly excited to have worked in collaboration with Charities Aid Foundation, BBRC, Bristol City Council and many local community groups in Bristol on the launch of the first The Big Issue eBikes scheme.
“Renting an eBike from The Big Issue is not only good for the environment, but it also creates opportunities for marginalised people.
“You are biking for good.”
The scheme will be launched with a £450,000 investment from City Funds, a Bristol-based impact investment fund run by Bristol & Bath Regional Capital.
Jan Tore Endresen, CEO of ShareBike, said: “In our partnership with The Big Issue, ShareBike sees a unique opportunity to help people whilst providing sustainable mobility.
“With more than 20 years’ experience in global bike sharing we have ensured that Big Issue eBikes offer a comfortable and convenient alternative to fossil fuel-based transportation, as well as providing an affordable mode of travelling around cities in the UK.”
The Big Issue and ShareBike are now calling on Bristol businesses to take up the scheme in order to provide ethical and sustainable ways for people to travel and support unemployed or vulnerable people back into skilled work.
Businesses interested in the scheme can visit www.bigissue.bike to find out how they can set up an eBike scheme in their local community.
How can I use the eBikes?
If you are a cyclist, to register or to hear more about when The Big Issue eBikes scheme, visit www.bigissue.bike.
The bikes can be hired via the Big Issue eBike App. The locations of the bikes can be found in the app.
The monthly subscription is £19.95/month. This is for unlimited rides up to 10 minutes per ride and then charged at 20p per minute to a maximum of £12 a day. The subscription can be cancelled at any time.
There is also a pay-as-you-go option which requires a £10 deposit and 50p to get started and then is charged at 20p per minute up to a maximum of £12 for the day.