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Des Moines 'BCycle' bike-share program to add 65 electric bicycles

BCycle is adding 65 electric bikes to its fleet, hopes to help those with mobility issues to ride long distances.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines' Bike-sharing company, BCycle, is adding 65 electric bicycles to their fleet.

Mike Armstrong, director of planning and communications at Street Collective, hopes the e-bikes will make it easier for Iowans with mobility issues to ride long distances.

"There's no throttle on it, but while you're riding, it'll give you that little boost," Armstrong said. "So if you're on a hill, it flattens that out... It gives you that little push to make it that much easier."

The bikes, which will be located across the metro at BCycle kiosks in Des Moines, Windsor Heights, and Clive max out at 18-20 miles per hour. That means they'll be allowed on Des Moines area trails.

Riders won't have to charge them. Workers will swap out e-bike batteries once they're parked, and batteries will be charged at their hub located at the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) headquarters.

DART officials are excited to allow their riders more options to connect with e-bikes after they get off on their stops.

"Any growing, thriving region has multiple mobility options that are easy to access and that are affordable," said DART external communications officer Erin Hockman.

It costs $1 to start unlock an e-bike and 25 cents per minute of your ride. Classic, non-e-bikes cost $1 to unlock and 10 cents per minute.

You can look for the lightning bolt icons in the BCycle app to find e-bikes nearby.

A dozen e-bikes are already circulating in the Des Moines metro area, but the remaining bikes will be activated July 1.

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