Ride On has been announced as the firm that will run Leicester’s new e-bike hire scheme. With 500 electric bikes available to hire from 50 locations across the city centre, Santander Cycles Leicester will be the largest docked hire scheme in the UK.
Ride On started out providing e-bike sharing schemes in Spain, but has since teamed up with Enzen Global to run a hire scheme in Miami, plus another that’s due for launch in Dundee.
The £600,000 project is being funded by Leicester City Council, following the council’s successful bid to the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities fund.
It will also benefit from sponsorship from Santander UK and additional investment from Ride On and Enzen Global.
Deputy city mayor for environment and transportation, Councillor Adam Clarke, said: “We’re very excited to have appointed Ride On as our operator and to be bringing this scheme to Leicester.
“The scheme will be low-cost and very easy to use, with people able to pick up and return the e-bikes at the docking stations, where they charge up when not in use.
“The coronavirus pandemic has meant we have had to delay the launch of the scheme, but this gives us the opportunity to test it ahead of a public launch next spring.
“We also know that the pandemic has led to much more interest in cycling, so we will be able to build on that momentum to launch the scheme.”
The scheme will cover the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods. Users will be able to register online, or at one of the on-street kiosks; buy a plan based on their needs; and then use a smartphone or keycard to unlock a bike and start riding.
It is intended to be socially inclusive, with discounts and incentives on offer to ensure it is an affordable choice.
Miguel Vital, CEO of Ride On, commented: “For Ride On, it’s an honour to become the operator and manager of the bike share scheme for Leicester City Council, and to receive support from Santander UK. Today we begin a journey that will make Leicester a smarter city in terms of mobility and will contribute to it becoming an environmentally sustainable landmark.
“Our system is a highly innovative docked e-bike scheme, meaning that in addition to keeping the fleet organised and parked only at our stations, the e-bikes are also efficiently charged. The end result means we are able to optimise time, costs and our environmental footprint. You will all enjoy the experience.”
The website (which still looks a little bit ‘work in progress’ at the time of writing) is rideonleicester.com