Oxford's bike sharing scheme, Oxonbike, offers bike rental at 13 docking stations across Oxford. From today the hire fleet has been boosted by the addition of 16 e-bikes, bringing the total number of bikes available to 80. New docking stations are being added to the network as well, connecting major employment centres including hospital and university sites in Headington with the city centre and park and ride hubs. New e-lock docks have been added to the docking stations so that the e-bikes can be charged while they're locked up.
The scheme expansion has been funded by a £34,000 grant from the Department for Transport through Bikeplus’ Shared Electric Bike Programme, with match funding of £30,000 from the University of Oxford aiming to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality through active travel.
Oxonbike allows casual renters to hire the bikes for an hourly charge, or if you pay an annual subscription fee you can hire the bikes for free for short periods of time. The e-bikes will cost £2 per hour to hire, as opposed to £1 per hour for standard bikes, and annual users get 20 free minutes per journey instead of 30 minutes.
Adam Bows, Sustainable Transport Manager at the University of Oxford said, “The addition of e-bikes to the OXONBIKE fleet will take the pain out of cycling up Headington Hill and enable more University staff to travel quickly and sustainably between the Science Area, the OUH hospital sites in Oxford and Old Road Campus”.
Antonia Roberts, Bikeplus Manager commented, “Bikeplus is keen to know what contribution shared electric bikes can make to sustainable transport, and find out what sort of people are attracted to electric bikes in different contexts, and why.”