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Rental E-bikes hit the streets in Boise

Rental E-bikes hit the streets in Boise

The Vall-ebike pilot program is underway in Boise and riders can find 50 gleaming white electronic-assist bikes spread across about a dozen racks in and…

Monday, Jul 18

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The Vall-ebike pilot program is underway in Boise and riders can find 50 gleaming white electronic-assist bikes spread across about a dozen racks in and around downtown. If you’ve used an e-scooter, the new bikes won’t be much different to rent.

The Vall-ebike program manager is Dave Fotsch, who also led the former Boise Greenbike program. Greenbike ran for about five years before it was discontinued a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new e-bike’s similarities to the scooter rental process are purposeful, Fotsch said.

“In 2018 when the scooters came to town, they suddenly got a lot of ridership because it was so much easier for people to rent the scooters than the [Green]bikes.”

Riders can download the ‘Boise Vall-ebike’ app, (for Apple and Android ) register with standard information and be ready to go. When you find a bike, you scan the QR code under the seat and the lock clicks open.

“You pedal, you get a boost, you feel like superman,” Fotsch quipped.

The bikes are single-gear and limited to 16 miles per hour, just like the scooters.The battery-powered bikes are from a company called Dropbike. Valley Regional Transit is leasing the units and is only responsible for the program administration and upkeep. Fotsch said that means Dropbike is responsible for keeping up as the technology changes. The wheels are solid rubber, too.“We spent so much time [with the Greenbike program] because of goatheads,” Fotsch laughed. “Without having to adjust gears and fix flats, maintenance should be relatively low.”That’s important because […]

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