CoGo Adding E-Bikes, More Stations
Big changes are in store for CoGo, the bike share system with the fixed docking stations that has operated in Columbus since 2013. About 250 e-bikes – bikes that are equipped with a battery that provides a pedal-activated boost – will be added to the system’s fleet this spring, along with five new stations.
The new electric bikes will also be equipped with a “hybrid locking technology” that will allow riders to either dock them at a CoGo station or lock them to a public bike rack.
Also planned are significant changes to the pricing and operation of the system. Starting on January 29, CoGo bikes will be integrated into the Lyft app, meaning that riders can use their existing Lyft accounts to locate and pay for the bikes.
Coinciding with the roll-out of the service on the Lyft app, a new option for renting bikes will be available – a 30-minute, single trip on a traditional bike that will cost two dollars. And for those who buy a yearly membership to the service, the ride time allowed between dockings will be increased from 30 to 45 minutes.
Motivate, the company that had operated CoGo since its inception, was acquired by Lyft in 2018 (the City of Columbus owns the bikes and stations, and made the initial investment in the system).
Since then, the company has introduced e-bikes in other markets, so the new additions don’t come as a complete surprise. Last summer, Lyft started offering scooters in Columbus, but removed them from the streets about six months later.
Also announced today by Lyft and CoGo was a new “Transportation Equity Program,” which will introduce a discounted membership option for low-income residents. To be rolled out this spring, the monthly memberships will offer unlimited rides on non-electric bikes for five dollars a month.
“As a department, we are embedded in every Columbus neighborhood and serve as a great connector between residents’ first stop and last mile,” said Paul Rakosky, Interim Director of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, in a statement. “With new stations, new e-bikes and a new membership program for lower-income residents, we are excited about our partnership with Lyft and the expanded recreational access to the CoGo network.”
To suggest a location for one of the new CoGo stations, visit www.cogobikeshare.com.