Exciting developments have been made with the Bull E-Bike Pilot. The month of August jumpstarted the delivery of the pilot’s e-bikes after multiple shipments. A team of bike mechanics worked around the clock to assemble all the new e-bikes to meet the August 15th deadline. Once the e-bikes were assembled, the team’s bike mechanic transported them to the warehouse to install the remaining accessories.
As the August 15th deadline quickly approached, the team spent time reviewing the applications received and invited over a dozen participants to create the first cohort. The team hosted several orientations and welcomed each participant with a Way to Go Durham bag that included a safety vest, bike light, water bottle, phone holder, tire patch kit, and more. Each orientation session includes multiple stations where the participants receive one-on-one assistance to get fitted for their bike and helmet, learn the e-bike tracking app, go through bicycle safety and road rules, and test ride their assigned e-bike.
The Bull E-Bike team feels a sense of accomplishment and pride after witnessing the first cohort ride off into the sunset with their new e-bike. At the same time, the team is reminded of the additional work that needs to be done to advance the pilot. Improvements continue to be made to the NREL OpenPATH phone app, which the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides. The pilot uses this tool to collect data on the trips traveled by the participants to measure the impact of having an e-bike.
In late August, the team began working with five University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate students from the Department of City and Regional Planning. The graduate students will have a unique hands-on approach to planning, project implementation, and the inner workings of public-private partnerships. They will assist the city team with data collection, public and participant engagement through interviews, and lead the analysis and write-up of project findings for an implementation guide
To enhance the pilot’s recruitment efforts amongst transit riders, Bull E-Bike Pilot advertisement signs were installed on all 55 GoDurham buses. This was done to generate more participants who are reliant on public transportation and to support the pilot’s equity focus.
The team will continue recruiting efforts throughout downtown. Additional orientation sessions for the next group of participants will continue on a rolling basis to welcome new participants. The pilot’s videographer and communications lead will begin working on the next video assignment to highlight the personal stories of multiple participants.