Atlanta city council’s transportation committee is considering allowing electronic bike rentals.
Some committee members want regulations in place first. The e-bikes have a motor that assist riders in pedaling. The bikes are also dockless meaning you don’t have to rent them from a specific location.
Committee Chair Andre Dickens said the concern with dockless vehicles is equity.
“Part of the equity conversation is access,” Dickens said. “We want to make sure that the bikes will be placed throughout the city. That they won’t just be in areas in downtown, Midtown, Buckhead.”
There is also the concern of how the e-bikes will fit into the city’s current infrastructure. Ben Foster, with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, said the city needs to build streets that can handle multiple alternative transportation options.
“We’re all competing for this limited amount of space that was traditionally built for cars only,” Foster said.
He said more bike lanes and complete streets will help make sure e-bikes and scooters have a place around Atlanta. Motorized vehicles aren’t allowed on sidewalks or on the BeltLine.
Committee members said they are also concerned about affordability.
“We may want to consider a discounted or low-income rate for bikes and scooters,” committee member Amir Farokhi said.
Relay is the currently the city’s only bike-share program but its bikes aren’t electric. It offers discounted rates to students and people who receive government assistance.
Committee members plan to meet with companies that want to operate rentable e-bikes in the near future to get their input.