San Francisco will launch a pioneering electric bike share program this year, with the hope that pricing will help nudge consumers towards more efficient decisions, writes Sarah Laskow.
San Francisco is partnering with a local car share service to offer members access to electric bikes, in an experimental program being partially funded by the federal government's Value Pricing Pilot Program. Researchers at UC Berkeley will be tracking the results to see if customers can be persuaded to use an electric bicycle for trips they would previously have sought a car for.
According to Laskow, "In theory, there should be a threshold at which a bike makes more sense than a car. The rider might rule out a regular bike because she needs to reach a destination quickly, or doesn't want to arrive sweaty, or doesn't want to face a particular hill. But she might not need the full power of a car to solve those problems. Since the pilot program will price the electric bike at half the rate of cars or even lower, car share members will have an added incentive to choose the e-bike - a vehicle that will have a smaller environmental impact."
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