The Mobility Development Foundation is asking the public for suggestions on where to permanently park their 100 e-bikes in Stockton.
STOCKTON, Calif. — Nearly $7 million in public funding paved the way for an e-bike share and e-car share program in the city of Stockton and coordinators are now asking the public for suggestions.
In November 2020, the California Air Resources Board Recognized by San Joaquin Council of Governments a $7.4 million grant from the state’s Sustainable Transportation Equity Project. The project is designed to increase access to transportation in disadvantaged and low-income communities.
San Joaquin County was one of only three jurisdictions in the state to receive the grant. San Joaquin Council of Government officials say their work began long before grant funding was approved.
“We’ve learned a lot over the years about the needs on the ground,” said Christine Corrales, senior regional planner for the San Joaquin Council of Governments. “It really helped inform the projects themselves and show how much this area deserves these resources.”
The San Joaquin Council of Governments chose to use their millions in funding to create the Stockton Mobility Collective.
The collective, Corrales said, plans to create a local workforce to maintain the new nonprofit electric car and bike share services, provide incentives for using the shared programs, and promote the online ticketing for buses in the San Joaquin Regional Transit District.
“It’s a resource that communities can really use to get back to work, back to school, back into the community,” Corrales said. “Mobility is a very important aspect of everyday life and sometimes we take for granted how difficult it can be to get from point A to point B if you don’t have a vehicle here in Stockton.”
One of the programs funded under the grant is a self-service e-bike program, established by the Mobility Development Foundation.
Tyler Madell, who works with the foundation, hit the pavement and pavements in Stockton last week.
“I’ve been around town on this e-bike and there’s been a lot of excitement from people,” Madell said. “For many people, this is their first time riding a pedal-assist e-bike.”
Madell visited several neighborhoods in Stockton to demonstrate the bikes and seek community input on the location of “e-bike hubs”.
“Once the program is up and running, there will be about 12 different bike share centers around the city, and you can sign up to become a member of the program,” Madell said.
When the program is ready to roll out, Madell said the process will be simple. First, like e-bike programs in other cities, users will need to download an app, sign up for the program, and enter their credit card information.
Then the bike user can use the phone app to scan a QR code near the bike handles which will unlock the bike, ready for the user to use.
“These bikes have built in locking mechanisms so you can lock the bike directly to a post, on a rack it’s very easy to lock the bike where you are.” Madell said. “Transportation is a human right and we are carrying out this program with that in mind and with that at the heart of our concerns.”
According to the San Joaquin Council of Governments, the electric car sharing program would work the same way. Electric car hubs would be placed in underserved areas and offered to residents at an hourly rate as low as $4 per hour or $35 per day.
While Madell says they still don’t know when the scheme will be fully operational with around 100 e-bikes in Stockton, the foundation is in the planning stages and is asking the public for suggestions on where to locate 12 e-bike hubs.
The hubs would permanently house the 100 bikes and serve as parking between journeys and at night. Those with suggestions can submit location ideas on the Government Council website.
“You still have to pedal, you still exercise, but I like to say it feels like you have a gentle wind blowing at your back,” Madell said. “When you have an e-bike, it’s easier to show the places that don’t sweat.”
San Joaquin Council of Government officials say they hope to have all parts of their Stockton Mobility Collective up and running by the end of 2022. They say they hope to target areas of Midtown, Downtown and South Stockton where they believe services can have the greatest impact.
“There is a great need for mobility services and access to downtown and south Stockton where few people have access to their own car,” Corrales said. “These new mobility services are kind of about filling that gap and really helping residents, who rely on public transit, to have a little more accessibility in the community a little more mobility.”
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