An innovative new chapter in bike-sharing will be written in Birmingham, Alabama, where a city-wide program will be the first in the Americas to integrate electric assist bicycles. The first Bewegen bikes will be available to the public fall 2015.
Riders will have access to a total of 400 bikes – of which 100 will be electrically assisted – across 40 docking stations.
Canadian firm Bewegen are supplying and installing the tailored program for REV Birmingham, operator of the system. Combining cutting-edge technology with innovative bicycles, the user-friendly, 24/7 accessible, bike-sharing system is set to transform the way that people make short trips around Birmingham and will change the face of the city.
Alain Ayotte, Bewegen CEO commented:
We are very proud and excited to be working with the City of Birmingham, RPCGB and REV to offer the first electrically assisted bikes as part of a public bike-share system in the Americas. When launched, the Birmingham bike-sharing program will offer its citizens and visitors what we believe will be the best bike-share system in the world. Bewegen is committed to becoming an integral part of theBirmingham economy and community, this is why are customizing the stations to integrate seamlessly with the city’s urban landscape, as well as producing many station components using suppliers located in Birmingham.
The bikes are being built in collaboration with Bewegen’s Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, QC, based partner Procycle, one of the most important manufacturers of bicycles in the world and producers of the Rocky Mountain, Miele and eVox bicycles brands.
The cutting edge IT solution, provided by BikeEmotion, which includes technology allowing Bewegen’s bikes to communicate and provide its location at all times, has been successfully field-tested in Portugal and has been running in several locations since 2010. The sleek design of the bikes, docks and kiosks is signed by Michel Dallaire, the world renowned, Montreal based, industrial designer.
The smart-bike allows users to complete the check-out process directly on the bike with contactless pass or via a mobile phone application thereby offering the features of a kiosk without the cost of one. Live GPS tracking allows the precise mapping of every route and to locate bikes at any time.
“This BikeShare system is another forward-thinking program we’re implementing in our forward-thinking city,” said Birmingham MayorWilliam A. Bell, Sr.
It will provide a fun transportation option for our citizens, and for visitors here on business and pleasure.
“With our extensive experience manufacturing and operating bike-share systems combined with many years of R&D, we have developed the most cutting-edge system bar none” added Alain Ayotte about Bewegen’s system.
The automated recharging docks are powered through the solar system which has been specifically designed to reduce physical and technological barriers faced by potential users and to encourage thousands of people who may not have otherwise considered cycling to use the bikes.
“We have always seen BikeShare as an economic development tool. It draws in new visitors, encourages workers and residents to explore the city and delivers customers to the doors of Birmingham businesses,” said David Fleming, CEO of REV Birmingham.