Citi Bike debuts redesigned electric bicycle

After pulling its electric pedal-assist bicycles from its fleet in 2019, the operator of Citi Bike has brought ebikes back to the streets of New York.

The ebikes first debuted in New York a year ago. But by April 2019, a number of customers reported that the bikes were braking too hard so the operator, Motivate, pulled them from the streets.

Motivate, which is owned by Lyft, redesigned the bike's brake and motor setup, shifting them from the front wheel to the rear wheel, and eliminated the gears.

"With speeds up to 18 MPH, these custom pedal-assist ebikes give you the power to tackle bridges, shave time off your commute, and experience more neighborhoods in less time," Motivate says on its website. "Just start pedaling and the power kicks in."

The company also rethought its pricing structure for using electric bikes. Nonmembers pay 15 cents per minute, while annual members pay an extra 10 cents minute, capped at $2 for rides 45 minutes or less starting or ending outside Manhattan, according to the Citi Bike website.

Citi Bike has stations in several neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Manhattan as well as in Jersey City, New Jersey. But a report released in July 2019 noted that the bike-share program lags in some of the city's underprivileged communities.


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