700 new Capital Bikeshare e-bikes coming to DC

D.C.’s mayor is hoping people will be drawn back to working and visiting downtown with an influx of new e-bikes.

Partnering with Capital Bikeshare, the city announced that 700 electric-powered bikes are coming to the District, while unveiling a new bike lane downtown.

Mayor Muriel Bowser confessed, although she’s never ridden an electric bike, she said she would try one. But, she is more interested in luring more people downtown.

“Getting more people downtown, you’ve heard me say, continues to be our top priority. And this new bike lane and the new e-bikes make it much easier for many more people,” Bowser said at a news conference Monday.

The city’s newest protected bike lane runs a mile and a half from U Street, to Pennsylvania Avenue and then the National Mall.

“It represents how far we’ve come and our transportation network. When I took office, for example, in 2015, there were 63 miles of bike lanes and fewer than 6 miles of protected bike lanes. Now, we have 108 miles of bike lanes and more than 30 miles of protected bike lanes,” Bowser said.

In the next month, D.C. will see the new bikes parked at some of the 400 Capital Bikeshare stations across the city, according to general manager for Capital Bikeshare at Lyft Dominick Tribone.

Red bicycles from Capital Bikeshare are seen docked in downtown Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“We are super proud of this bike. It is a fun, smooth ride. It has a longer range, a really zippy motor for getting up those hills in Ward 3, and a much longer battery life,” Tribone said, also noting the brighter bike lights, adjustable seats and reflective paint.

Along with the 700 e-bikes coming to D.C., Arlington and Alexandria will get a total of 150 e-bikes. The mayor said D.C. now has a total of 1,000 e-bikes, and the District Department of Transportation plans to increase the number of e-bikes to 2,500 over the next several years.

“I got to tour the bike myself a little bit. It has a 60-mile range. I can’t wait to hop on one of these and get around our city as I know a lot of other residents are, as well,” said Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen, an avid biker.

Allen reminded residents about the Capital Bikeshare for All program that helps ensure all residents, regardless of income level, can use the bikes.

“We held a hearing last week actually talking about expanded e-bike options. Council member Pinto and I had both introduced legislation on this. And that same day, actually got a chance to ride down this lane. It was fantastic,” Allen said.

Residents interested in trying one of the new e-bikes can use the promo code “TRYCABIEBIKE” to take $2 off one e-bike ride through March 31. To redeem, add the promo code in the rewards section of the Capital Bikeshare or Lyft app.

To learn more about D.C.’s new protected bike lane, go to the District Department of Transportation’s website.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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