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CoGo E-Bikes, Discounted Memberships Now Available

Brent Warren Brent Warren CoGo E-Bikes, Discounted Memberships Now AvailablePhoto courtesy of CoGo.
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CoGo is adding electric bikes to its growing fleet of rentable bikes. The bikes, which are equipped with a battery that provides a pedal-activated boost, are available to rent starting today.

Also new to the bike share system is an equity program – called CoGo for All – which will offer $5 annual memberships to any Central Ohio resident who receives SNAP benefits or pays a discounted utility bill. The discounted membership allows for unlimited rides on traditional (non-electric) bikes, as long as each trip is 45 minutes or less.

Residents aged 18 and up can apply for the program here.

While only a handful of e-bikes appear to be available to rent as of this morning, a Lyft spokesperson said that the plan is to eventually place a total of 280 of the bikes around Central Ohio.

Thirty of the e-bikes were funded by a portion of the $10 million Paul G. Allen Family Foundation grant that was awarded to Columbus through the Smart City Challenge.

The new electric bikes are equipped with cable locks that allows riders to either dock them at a CoGo station or lock them to a public bike rack.

It will cost riders more to rent an e-bike. Here’s how CoGo explains the pricing:

  • Annual Membership: $75 per year for unlimited, 45-minute rides on classic bikes. Members who choose to upgrade to an e-bike will pay a $.10 per minute charge for their ride.
  • CoGo for All:Members of CoGo’s program for lower-income Central Ohio residents pay $5 a year for unlimited, 45-minute rides on classic bikes. These members will pay $0.05 per minute if they choose an e-bike. 
  • Casual Passes:$2 per ride for any single 30-minute trip on a classic bike or $8 for a Day Pass inclusive of unlimited 30-minute trips on a classic bike. If these riders choose to upgrade to an e-bike, they will pay a $.15 per minute charge for their ride.
  • Parking: There is no parking fee for e-bikes locked and parked at CoGo docking stations. However, if an e-bike is parked at a public bike rack, $1 will be charged. Bikes should only be parked at CoGo stations or bike racks. Fines may be assessed for improper parking (such as parking at trees or accessibility ramps). 

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).

“We are thrilled to expand access to CoGo by introducing ebikes into the fleet in order to make trips even easier during this time,” said Caroline Samponaro, Head of Micromobility and Transit Policy at Lyft, in a statement. “We’re proud to also introduce CoGo for All, which will make bikeshare more affordable for low income Columbus residents. We look forward to continuing to expand mobility options in Columbus in partnership with the City of Columbus and Smart Columbus.”

The new e-bikes can be located using the CoGo website or via the Lyft app.

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