The Bull E-Bike Pilot

The City of Durham’s Transportation Department conducted the Bull E-Bike Pilot to learn more about how electric bikes (e-bikes) can be deployed to improve the transportation experience in the Bull City. Selected participants used a pedal-assist e-bike for 4+ weeks in exchange for sharing information about their experience, including tracking their travel via a smartphone app. In addition to the e-bike, participants received a helmet, u-lock, and other accessories, plus maintenance support. We launched the first participant cohort on August 15 and the pilot will end in early November 2022. 

The goal of the Bull E-Bike Pilot project is to learn the effects when a downtown Durham employee is given an electric-assist bike. The collected data and lived experiences from this pilot project will teach us and other cities if electric-assist bikes for downtown workers can help increase transportation access, reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips, etc.

 Learn the latest news about our program from our monthly blog posts!

Applications Have Closed

Thank you to everyone who applied to be a part of the Bull E-Bike Pilot project! We accepted the final cohort of participants.

Hear from the participants themselves by viewing their testimonial videos below. 

Bull City Today TV Series Episode 

The goal of the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge is to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips to and around downtown Durham using behavioral science, human-centered design, and rigorous evaluation. The opportunity exists to integrate available electric-assist bike resources in Durham to a Mayors Challenge project.

Data Collection Partner: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) advances the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies and provides the knowledge to integrate and optimize energy systems.

NREL developed the OpenPATH app, through which Bull E-Bike Pilot project participants provided data about their trips. Data collected during the pilot will be used to understand how e-bikes are used including when and how often, as well as the distance traveled. NREL and the City of Durham will gain insight into the travel habits of participants and the CO2 savings generated by switching from drive-alone automobile and transit trips to trips on an e-bike.

At the conclusion of the program, the data will be securely archived in the Transportation Secure Data Center (TSDC) at NREL, to support long-term anonymous transportation research and analysis.

The Bull E-Bike team is currently working through quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Data limitations on this dashboard include missing participant trips, and tracking outside of pilot participation. Check out the Bull E-Bike Pilot Data Dashboard to see some of the data collected. 

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