For anyone that has been paying attention to bike culture in Buffalo, they will notice that there are more and more people turning to pedal assist e-bikes. It’s definitely the rage these days, as people use the pedal assist e-bikes to go further and further.
Recently, Reddy Bikeshare introduced its first fleet of pedal assist e-bikes, in conjunction with Independent Health. The bikeshare network, known as Reddy+, is being rolled out in Buffalo, as well as in Niagara Falls.
Reddy+ bikes were first introduced at the 2023 Biketober Bash held at the Buffalo History Museum. The new pedal assist bikes are the latest and greatest attraction for anyone looking to go the distance, with added confidence that there is backup power whenever the need arises.
Shared Mobility Inc., and Independent Health launched the bikeshare program seven years ago. Since then, more than 43,000 people have pedaled a combined 560,000 miles
According to the latest statistics issued by Reddy Bikeshare, by 2025, the Reddy Team, in partnership with Independent Health, will steadily add more pedal-assist e-bikes, scaling the fleet to 600 bikes, mixed between Reddy Bikes and Reddy+ Bikes.
“E-bikes are transforming how people move around cities,” said Simon Husted, Reddy Bikeshare’s Communications and Marketing Coordinator. “The demand for e-bikes here in Western New York cannot be overstated. For many folks, an electric pedal assist is the pivotal piece they need to make biking safe and comfortable.”
Currently, a Reddy+ Bikes user can unlock a new e-bike with the scan of a QR code at a promotional rate of $0.20 per minute. Bikes are currently available until early November. At that point they will be removed for the winter season, before being rolled back out again in springtime.
“Our non-profit organization’s goal is to provide affordable, environmentally friendly and healthy transportation options for people who live or visit Western New York,” says Michael Galligano CEO of Shared Mobility Inc, the parent nonprofit of Reddy Bikeshare. “Just like our standard bikes, Reddy+ Bikes will be very popular.”
Just like Reddy Bikes, users can find the location of every Reddy+ Bike on Reddy Bikeshare’s “SoBi” app, as well as the battery level on each bike.
“The health of our community is at the heart of what we do at Independent Health,” Independent Health President and CEO Michael W. Cropp, M.D, said. “As Western New York’s only local health plan, we know it’s our responsibility to ensure our entire community has opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle. We’ve been committed to our partnership with Reddy Bikeshare since its inception in 2016 and are proud to see the program continue to evolve in this way. Promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle is not just a commitment of ours, but a responsibility we all share to create a culture of health in the community, and these pedal assist bikes are a part of that mission. The new e-bikes mean more people can now have access to and enjoy the benefits of cycling in our region, and we are excited to see them hit the road across Buffalo and Niagara Falls.”
M&T Bank has been a staunch supporter of Reddy Bikeshare since 2017. Along with other contributions to the growing community bike network, the bank has issued free bikeshare annual passes to nearly 1,400 M&T Bank employees. You might recall that bank’s late Chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers was a big fan of biking to work (learn more).
“The availability of Reddy Bikes near work have transformed the traditional lunch break and have also made it easy to navigate around downtown,” said Ariel Jaimes, a Business Systems Analyst employee at M&T Bank and founder of the company’s Fitness Resource Group (MTBFit). “I know for a fact the addition of e-bikes in the system will spark greater interest in our cycling community.”
The growth of Reddy Bikeshare coincides with enhancred bike infrastructure in both Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The hope is that this trend will continue.
“As we continue to work with partners across Western New York to grow our system of complete streets, trails and greenways – cycling has become a popular form of recreation and a viable active transportation option,” stated Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo. “Coupled with the addition of pedal assist e-bikes, we are seeing more people biking longer through life and utilizing this healthy and sustainable option for more daily trips.”
All the e-bikes are categorized as Class 1, which means the device provides a safe and gradual assist when pedaling.
The more bikes on the road, the healthier communities are as a whole. Bikes (and e-bikes) provide means for greater mobility for people who don’t have access to cars. Brian Archie, Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative (CHNFC), knows this all too well. He has seen just how much e-bikes can improve the lives of people who are in need of alternative forms of transportation. To that end, Archie founded an e-Bike Library that loans refurbished e-bikes to qualifying Niagara Falls residents in need of low-cost mobility options.
“E-bikes were introduced in Niagara Falls this summer with much fanfare,” said Brian Archie, a co-chair of CHNFC. “From seniors to middle-age adults, many expressed this was the first time they had ridden a bike in decades. E-bikes are easy to use and provide an opportunity for residents to get healthy while enjoying the outdoors and caring for their mental, social and emotional health.”
For those looking to hitch up with a Reddy+ e-bike, the bikes will be available for unlocking and usage until early November–as weather permits–and will be re-deployed in spring of 2024.
*Users must be at least 18 years of age to engage with the community bike platform.
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