Citi Bike Delays Return Of Ebikes To NYC Bike Share

Pedal-assist bikes will be back in winter with a new pricing structure.

Citi Bike ebike
Citi Bike postponed the relaunch of its ebikes to deal with braking and battery issues.Lyft

Citi Bike pedal-assist ebikes, which have been off New York’s streets since April, will return to the bike share system this winter rather than this fall as previously planned, Citi Bike owner Lyft announced late last week. An exact date for the ebikes’ relaunch was not announced.

“As you know, earlier this year we removed ebikes after some riders experienced stronger-than-expected braking force on the front wheel. Several months after that, we also experienced challenges with batteries on our ebikes in the Bay Area. Those issues led us to work with a new battery supplier while we simultaneously redesigned the bike’s brake setup. It’s taken longer than anticipated to get all the necessary components for the new bikes and complete safety testing, but we’re making progress,” Lyft stated in a blog post.

“We expect to initially launch several hundred ebikes this winter and will gradually ramp up to a larger fleet. We’re sorry for the delay and appreciate your patience.”

In response to user feedback, Lyft is also reducing the upfront pricing for its Citi Bike ebikes. The company had planned to charge $2 up front for each ebike, but will now charge only for the time ridden: 10 cents per minute for annual Citi Bike members or 15 cents per minute for nonmembers.

“Now you’ll pay only for the length of time you ride instead of a flat fee no matter how far you’re going. We've done the math, and the majority of riders will pay less for ebike rides with per-minute pricing,” Lyft stated, adding that 80 percent of member rides during the previous ebike rollout were less than 20 minutes.

“We’re dedicated to continuously improving the Citi Bike system as we move forward on our plan to grow the system by 35 square miles to reach many more neighborhoods while increasing the number of bikes to 40,000,” Lyft said. “…We appreciate your patience and thank you for riding with us!”