MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ebikes are rolling out Monday as a pilot project in Minneapolis’ bike share program.

credit: Nice Ride

Nice Ride says 50 of the electronic pedal-assist bikes are now available in its dock’s across the city.

The ebikes are black in color, featuring a tiny lightning bolt next to the Rice Ride logo on the frame.

The ebikes will be available at normal Nice Ride docks with no additional cost to ride. (That’s quite a deal, considering ebikes can cost several thousand dollars.)

Nice Ride officials say these 50 ebikes could be just the beginning for the program. Bill Dossett, the group’s executive director, says that in other cities, ebikes have tripled the utilization of ride sharing.

Nice Ride hopes that ebikes will make it easier for users to make longer trips, thereby curbing congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road.

How are ebikes different than regular bikes? The pedal-assist technology allows riders to cruise at a steady speed with less effort, reaching speeds of 18 mph on the Nice Ride models.

To turn on the pedal-assist option, users need to press the power button for three seconds while the bike is stationary. The button is located between the handlebars.

Ebikes are allowed to ride anywhere traditional bikes can go.

Nice Ride operates in Minneapolis, overseen by a nonprofit and operated by Lyft, the ride share company.

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