The team behind Dundee’s e-bike network plans to link more communities across the city and surrounding area after a successful first year.
Almost 16,000 people in Dundee have used the Embark Dundee fleet of 125 electric bikes since Spain-based firm Ride-On launched the network in November 2020.
Financial services firm Embark confirmed the sustainable travel option was “here to stay” in the city as it confirmed its sponsorship for 2022.
Ride-On initially conceived the scheme to serve city commuters. But the pandemic has meant leisure travellers have been the most frequent passengers to date.
Embark Dundee e-bike numbers ‘to double’ in 2022
Brian Bellman, Ride-On Dundee city manager, said: “We’ve got 16 stations at the moment.
“So to provide a good service to local community of Dundee, to all the housing schemes, where we can put a station in we will.”
The project’s backers plan to double the number of bikes and docking stations over the next year.
Mr Bellman added: “That will be in order to allow people to travel in and out of the city at a very reasonable and cheap rate.”
The scheme currently costs around £60 for an annual pass.
A total of 15,987 travellers in Dundee have used the e-bikes in the first year, making 20,364 trips. The company said that has saved 95,400 cubic metres of carbon emissions.
The most popular route remains between the V&A and Broughty Ferry.
Planning court loss will not stop further growth
It has not been all smooth running for the e-bike network. Residents in the west end of the city mounted a successful legal action against Dundee City Council after it approved placing a large e-bike rack on Blackness Avenue.
Residents there did not want the large piece of infrastructure placed in front of their tenement homes.
Mr Bellman suggested the company had learned lessons from the experience.
“We want the scheme to be the main focus of positivity. Therefore we will take a lot of different factors into consideration before we deploy a station on the ground.”
He said they would run ‘awareness days’ on the e-bike scheme before placing further docking stations.
Ride-On chief operating officer Sara Ylipoti said any community that was interested in a docking station should get in touch.
She suggested the slower than planned roll out of the Dundee e-bike stations was in part due to making sure the company got the locations right.
“That’s why we are taking a little while to further the expansion plans.
“We want to make sure that it makes sense to have a connected network of stations. So there’s a docking station near your home, near your office in the city centre.
“But also the residents are going to be happy with where it’s located and see the utility of it.”
Ride-On is yet to confirm locations for the remaining stations. They could, however, include destinations on the city outskirts, including Angus and north east Fife.
Design competition and charity ride to mark 1st anniversary
Embark confirmed the Embark Dundee e-bikes are here to stay and extended its sponsorship of the scheme after a successful first year.
The company will mark the occasion with a children’s design competition and charity ride on December 12 in aid of Dundee Foodbank and Mission Christmas- Cash for Kids.
Peter Docherty is Embark Platform CEO.
He said: “We’re delighted to continue to be a part of this scheme that helps develop the local infrastructure of Dundee and reduce carbon emissions across the city.