Omaha City Council and nonprofit plan to add more e-bikes
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - People in the Midwest have a hard time giving up their cars, but in Omaha there are some trading four wheels for two.
Electric bikes are starting to gain popularity and a local nonprofit now wants to expand this method of transportation.
“Just like you and I will drive our cars to get somewhere people are now driving an e-bike to get to where they’re going,” said Benny Foltz, the executive director of Heartland Bike Share.
Since 2011, Heartland Bike Share has been setting up bike stations all across Omaha.
“Back then, the only thing that was available was your classic bikes, just your normal peddle bike, but in 2019 we deployed 20 E-bikes.”
That’s when the number of rider trips exploded and jumped roughly from 15,000 to more than 60,000 in just four years. Foltz says they’ve been expanding ever since.
The group now has 500 bikes and hopes the city, which they partner with, will help them get more.
“The most recent purchase we’re getting 100 E-bikes, as well.”
They were initially intended for recreational use, but more riders are using bike sharing as public transportation.
“But, only 5% of those trips were on those classic bikes.”
Now, the goal of the nonprofit is to have as many e-bikes available to the public as possible.
Tuesday, the city will decide whether to approve more e-bikes. If approved, it will add more bikes to e-bike stations all around Omaha.
And the nonprofit plans to make a new announcement on its expansion in April.