Pedal-Assist Bike-Share Arrives in Philadelphia - Next City

Philadelphia’s bike-share service is taking a step forward on the evolutionary tree this week, with the arrival of electric-powered pedal-assist bicycles to its fleet. Indego, the city’s bike-share service, started a two-month trial run of the new “e-bikes,” PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa reports.

“I thought they were awesome,” said Chamarra McCrorie, a city employee who regularly rides her single-speed bike to work, according to PlanPhilly. “The ride was very smooth, the speed picked up immediately, and I think it’ll be a great way for people to get around the city, especially in those parts that are more hilly.”

Pedal assist e-bikes, which assist riders with an electric motor that turns on only while they are pedaling, are gradually making their way into bike-share fleets across the country, though not always without controversy. E-bikes arrived for a trial run in the nation’s capital in September and had a trial run in select NYC neighborhoods over the summer.

The arrival of e-bikes in NYC required the city to make them legal first, but the legislation to do so upset some who charged that the reforms left out restaurant-delivery workers — who often use DIY throttle-powered bikes because they’re more affordable to convert than purchasing their own electric-powered pedal-assist bikes.

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