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Could your library do this? A California library is helping people try e-bikes for free » Yale Climate Connections

Libraries lend out a lot more than books and DVDs. Some loan tools or museum passes. And at the public library in Santa Barbara, California, visitors can borrow a weeklong membership to the city’s electric bike share program.

Bilek: “The goal is to give people in the community a chance to try a form of alternative transportation, see if it might work for them.”

That’s senior librarian Ariana Bilek.

She says the library is partnering with BCycle, the city’s e-bike share program, and Bosch, an e-bike technology company, to introduce more residents to e-bikes. The goal is to encourage more people to use this low-carbon way to get around town.

Library patrons can check out one of 10 BCycle passes for a week at a time. During that week, they can use any of BCycle’s 250 e-bikes, which are docked throughout the city.

The program started this past May, and Bilek says the passes have been in high demand.

Bilek: “A lot of first-timers to any form of e-bike are utilizing the program and they’re really enjoying it. We hear a lot of positive feedback from first-timers.”

So just as borrowing a library book is a low-stakes way of trying out a new author, borrowing a BCycle pass provides a low-commitment way to give e-biking a try.

Reporting Credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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