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Thread: Ebikes!

  1. #1
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    Default Ebikes!

    "We want you to know about some important changes to our terms.

    "We are updating and revising our Bicycle Rental Agreement and Liability Waiver and Release. Effective September 5, 2018, if you rent a bicycle or use our website or our other services after that time, you are agreeing to do so under the new terms.

    "Why are we doing this?

    "We have some exciting additions coming to the Capital Bikeshare fleet. Soon we’ll be introducing new pedal-assist bicycles as another solution for getting across Metro-DC. Therefore, we’ve changed our Rental Agreement and Liability Waiver and Release to include policies related to pedal-assist bicycles."

    https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/terms-update-2018

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    Motivate have ebikes in San Francisco branded Ford GoBike+ recently they introduced an in house design that looks like a capital bikeshare bike with a front hub motor, feedback comments on Twitter are positive with riders liking the features shared with the standard bike, instead of the 3-speed IGH WTOP report it has an “infinity gear” presumably a CVT (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/09/...pilot-program/)
    https://twitter.com/FordGoBike
    Last edited by Dewey; 09-04-2018 at 09:13 PM.

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    E-CaBis are on the streets tomorrow. They will be black and will use the regular CaBi dock according to the Post. It appears that normal CaBi rates apply.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...are-this-week/


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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    E-CaBis are on the streets tomorrow.
    Only 80 in the system. Which means it'll be like trying to find a unicorn. I'll give it a test ride if it's not a competitive sport just to locate one.

    I find the "juicers" or volunteer ($) scooter chargers quite entertaining. Today I saw a guy on Army Navy Drive riding a Bird, while he had at least two others somehow balanced onboard. Ghosting to an extreme.

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    CaBi FAQs day that there will be a lightning bolt symbol to indicate e-bike locations. Happy hunting tomorrow everyone.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    CaBi FAQs day that there will be a lightning bolt symbol to indicate e-bike locations. Happy hunting tomorrow everyone.
    The lightning bolt now exists. Unfortunately, it's more or less useless, because there are so few ebikes in the system that if you go to a location with a lightning bolt, the ebike is pretty much sure to be gone by the time you get there.

    I tried to get an ebike one day, using a Jump bike to get to the CaBi locations. I went through four CaBi locations (one of which showed two ebikes), without managing to snag one. I finally gave up and used Metro.

    One time, I found one in the wild--only to discover that I couldn't take it out because it was broken.

    Of course, this was not as bad as the time I finally found an ebike that wasn't broken at a CaBi station, went to take it out, and discovered that someone had smeared a thick layer of dogshit on it...

    So far, I have never managed to ride a CaBi ebike. I'm really hoping that CaBi will soon get enough of them that finding one (preferably one without the dogshit) is practical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cvcalhoun View Post
    there are so few ebikes in the system that if you go to a location with a lightning bolt, the ebike is pretty much sure to be gone by the time you get there.
    With only eighty in the entire region during the phase-in period, and with seemingly half having dead batteries at any given time, it's no wonder you haven't gotten one yet.

    I'd say the Dead Battery Problem has probably frustrated many by now, maybe comparable to the problem you describe (people whisking the ebikes away before you arrive). Between the time someone locates a lightning-bolt designating an available ebike, and the time he/she arrives at the station use it, the system detects a low battery, the red-light goes on, preventing use until a CaBi employee stops by and switches the battery for a fresh one. This doesn't seem to be automatic upon docking, but can occur any time.

    Which leads me to wonder why the ebikes with dead batteries but otherwise running fine are not allowed to be used as "non-e" bikes? The "electric assist" is optional, in that you have to press a button to turn it on, but once the battery is gone, the bike is locked up even if it otherwise runs fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yule View Post
    Which leads me to wonder why the ebikes with dead batteries but otherwise running fine are not allowed to be used as "non-e" bikes? The "electric assist" is optional, in that you have to press a button to turn it on, but once the battery is gone, the bike is locked up even if it otherwise runs fine.
    I assume because allowing it to travel after the low battery has been detected would make it harder to replace the battery.

    I imagine there's data to inform how much of a problem this is now, and to help predict whether it would be a problem with more ebikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I assume because allowing it to travel after the low battery has been detected would make it harder to replace the battery.

    I imagine there's data to inform how much of a problem this is now, and to help predict whether it would be a problem with more ebikes.

    No imagination needed. A dude that works for CaBi confirmed on Twitter that they lock for maintenance when the battery needs swapping so that the batteries can be swapped more efficiently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yule View Post
    With only eighty in the entire region during the phase-in period...
    Just a note on this. The CaBi Plusses are a pilot until the end of November. The pilot itself is more of a Motivate conceived thing than an ask from the jurisdictions that contract with Motivate to operate bikeshare. Unlike regular CaBi's the Plusses are not owned by the government jurisdictions. My understanding is that Motivate (and their Lyft overlord) are trying to gauge usage as well as additional cost to purchase and maintain an e-bike fleet and once they do so they'll be some sales pitching to the jurisdictions to spend more money on bikes and operating costs.

    The last figure I heard was that a Cabi Plus was averaging over 7 trips per day which is roughly double of of a regular CaBi. I haven't heard anything about whether having the e-bikes in the fleet has led to any increase in overall ridership. It would be interesting to see if a mostly e-bike fleet would lead to higher usage or if usage would stay relatively flat (but be more fun.)

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