Big Issue eBikes scheme launching in Bristol - what we know so far

The scheme aims to encourage active travel, reduce pollution and help people back into work

The Big Issue is gearing up to launch its first ever bike hire scheme in Bristol.

The programme will launch in the coming weeks following the development of the group’ first hub in Bristol.

Sign up to our BristolWorld Today newsletter

The company say the e-bikes will encourage residents to stay active, reduce pollution and provide a jobs boost.

Co-founder of The Big Issue, Lord John Bird said: “We are confident that The Big Issue eBikes scheme will recruit and retrain unemployed and vulnerable people in local communities and provide them with access to support and services to improve their lives.

“So by renting an ebike from The Big Issue not only are you doing good for the environment but you are doing good for others too. You are biking for good.”

The Big Issue bikes will launch in the New Year.

What’s the idea behind the scheme?

Created in partnership with Norwegian firm ShareBike, the scheme aims to encourage active travel in Bristol while tackling unemployment.

The Big Issue said it would recruit and retrain people who were previously unemployed and support them back into work to run the e-bike programme, starting with a team of 10 employees at the Bristol hub.

There are plans to expand to 14 other areas across the country over the next two years.

How many bikes are involved?

The eBikes team have taken delivery of 420 distinctive red and white branded bikes, which are set to head into the streets in a matter of weeks.

The scheme was announced in November 2020, so it’s taken over a year for the bikes to be ready after coronavirus caused issues with supply chains.

How does it work?

Users will be able to download an app and view bikes available in the area before using and returning them.

There’s even the option to verify the return via a photo.

How much does it cost to hire a bike?

Currently, there’s no information on charges.

But The Big Issue said prices will be ‘favourable compared to other public transport’ such as buses.

There will also be the opportunity for brands to advertise on the bikes, bringing in extra revenue for the programme.

When will the scheme start?

The bike scheme is officially expected to launch in January 2022. You can keep an eye on it’s progress and find more info here: https://bigissue.bike/