Despite fires, Capital Bikeshare expects to see ebikes return this fall

new Capital Bikeshare bikes
While the D.C. area waits for the return of electric bikes to Capital Bikeshare, Lyft is rolling out a new model of its regular bikes to the system. The new bikes have a larger, easier-to-use basket on the front, an “infinity gear” that allows riders more flexibility, and handlebars that are meant to be more ergonomic. (WTOP/Max Smith)

Capital Bikeshare is still expected to get electric pedal assist bikes back this fall, despite fires on similar models that were recently deployed in San Francisco.

Lyft, which operates Capital Bikeshare for the region’s transportation departments, is “committed to bringing ebikes back to Capital Bikeshare this fall,” the company said in a statement to WTOP.

The initial electric bikes were pulled from the fleet this spring due to a few reports of brakes locking up, posing a risk to riders.

A new model meant to address the issues has been planned to roll out to the bikeshare systems Lyft operates across the country, including San Francisco, over the next few months.

The new electric bikes that charred in San Francisco had only been on the street for a short time. No one was hurt in either of the fires July 27 or July 31. Both bikes appear to have caught fire while in a dock.


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The electric bikes were removed from service in San Francisco on Wednesday.

While the exact cause of the fire is unclear, a handful of electric scooters have been tied to similar incidents that may be linked to battery packs.

“Because the safety of our riders is our number one concern, we are temporarily making the ebike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” San Francisco’s Bay Wheels bikeshare system tweeted last week.

As the D.C. area waits for the return of electric bikes to Capital Bikeshare, Lyft is rolling out a new model of its regular bikes to the system.

New bikes added to Capital Bikeshare have a larger, easier-to-use basket on the front, an “infinity gear” that allows riders more flexibility, and handlebars that are meant to be more ergonomic.

The new model looks extremely similar to the electric bikes that were active in the system from last September through April, just without the pedal assist.

Capital Bikeshare plans to charge users more for electric bike trips than for regular bike trips.

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