More than 30,000 rides on West Midlands Cycle Hire ebikes in six months

Ebikes have proved popular with West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH) users with more than 30,000 rides since they were launched on the streets last December. 

Figures issued by WMCH for Bike Week (June 6-12) show more than 8,000 individuals have used the ebikes and travelled and average of almost 3 kilometres per trip.

The power assisted bikes, which can make cycling easier especially on longer journeys or hilly terrain, are available for hire in Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

More than 30,000 rides on West Midlands Cycle Hire ebikes in six months

The ebikes, of which there are 150 available for hire, have also attracted new users to the scheme with more than 2,700 people using an ebike for their first WMCH ride.

So to encourage even more people to give it a go, WMCH is offering users the chance to win 300 free minutes of ebike hire through its Bike Week competition – available through @WMCycleHire social media channels.

WMCH was developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and is operated by Serco. The bikes and docking stations are manufactured here in the West Midlands.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who chairs the WMCA, said: “Our cycle hire scheme has been a phenomenal success and these latest figures show our decision to include e-bikes in our offering has been incredibly warmly received by the public.

“Citizens across the West Midlands have made more than 30,000 e-bike journeys over the winter and spring. Now as we move into the summer season, e-bikes are sure to prove even more popular than they have so far.

“We’re keen to enable cycling uptake in our region given all of the health and environmental benefits; e-bikes are a great way for people to get started and experience the benefits of active travel."

Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling & Walking Commissioner, said: "West Midlands Cycle Hire has, in a short space of time, become a key part of our sustainable transport network. E-bikes open up cycling to many more people, and it's heartening to see their popularity so far. Alongside new infrastructure, we're committed to giving people choices in the way they travel."

It costs £1.50 to unlock an eBike and 10p per minute after that – or 5p per minute with a WMCH bundle deal which means a half-hour ride could cost as little as £3. The bikes are hired using the Beryl Cycle Hire app where the eBike locations are clearly marked. 

Investment in cycling facilities is a key part of the region’s plan to encourage more alternatives to the car for shorter journeys around busy towns and cities with a view to reducing congestion, improving air quality and helping the region achieve its #WM2041 net zero-carbon target.

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council added: “Cycle hire is just one of the many ways TfWM and partner councils are making it easier for people to cycle or walk across the region.

“We are developing miles of safe cycle routes, including our Starley Network, and making our town centres and communities more cycle and pedestrian friendly – as well as offering people training and encouragement to get on their bikes.

 “This is a vital part of our plans to reduce car use, cut traffic congestion and meet our net-zero carbon climate change targets.”