The Lane – Issue #2 – The E-Bike Boom


The Lane is MoGo’s newest blog series. Read on for information, analysis, and updates on MoGo, and bike share overall. Read Issue #1: Improving Bike Infrastructure.


When many of the United States’ current bike share companies were founded – all in the past decade or so – they were intended to be ‘last mile connectors’. That is, someone taking the bus from their workplace to a stop still a mile from their home would be able to get on a bike at their bus stop and get themselves much closer to their neighborhood. (Taking the Dexter bus from the Rosa Parks Transit Center up to the Wayne State area, and hopping on a MoGo to get back to your home in Woodbridge).


While this approach continues to benefit a number of commuters and casual riders, the bike share world has been dramatically changed since the introduction of e-bikes a few years ago. In bike share systems, e-bikes are most often electric bikes that propel you forward as you pedal, usually maxing out at 15-18mph (in MoGo’s system, they are the black Boost bikes).


Why did e-bikes change the game so dramatically? Other than the excitement of riding faster, farther, most e-bikes have a 35-40 mile range, making it incredibly easy for commuters to make their entire commute via bike share. Why ride just the 1 mile home when you could make the entire 5, 10, or 15 mile trip without breaking a sweat?


In other words, e-bikes have expanded bike share’s ability to function as its own transit option, rather than just a complementary option.


With the onset of the pandemic a year ago, MoGo became a primary method of transportation for many essential workers who had previously relied on buses or other enclosed transit options to make their commute. This was reflected in an uptick in Boost ridership: in 2020, Boost bikes made up just 8% of the total fleet, but accounted for 20% of all trips. Boost bikes also averaged twice as many trips per day.


MoGo wasn’t alone in the e-bike boom of 2020; a recent New York Times article reported an increase in fleet size, ridership, and distance traveled on e-bikes across the United States. Read the article, and see how MoGo is keeping pace with some of the U.S.’ biggest bike-share programs!





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