E-bike share scheme Hi-Bike has launched today, 1st October, in Inverness.
The first phase of the scheme will see 30 electric bikes for hire in the city, with three charging stations and three virtual stations. The stations will be located at the Falcon Square entrance to the railway station, behind the Inverness College UHI building on Inverness Campus, and at Great Glen House.
HITRANS is working in partnership with Highland Council to expand the scheme over the next year to bring additional bikes and docking stations to the city, giving a wider geographic spread and providing access to the bikes from more residential areas.
Hi-Bike offers a range of membership options, from pay per ride to monthly and annual membership. Shorter membership options include 30 minutes free riding before extra time fees kick in, and monthly and yearly membership gives 45 minutes free each ride. Occasional users can also choose a three-hour membership to explore the city and surroundings without the need to dock the bike every 30-45 minutes. To start riding, users can purchase a membership online or using the Hi-Bike mobile app.
The first phase of the pilot was made possible with funding from Transport Scotland and the EU project Stronger Combined, and support from Smarter Choices Smarter Places. Hi-Bike is operated by Bewegen, a Canadian company that also runs Forth Bike.
“Hi-Bike gives residents and visitors more options for making shorter journeys within the city by bike, helping to reduce carbon emissions and pollution, and improving health and wellbeing,” said HITRANS partnership director Ranald Robertson.
Marie-Hélène Houle, communications and marketing director at Bewegen Technologies Inc, said: “Bewegen is proud to be part of the solution in micro-mobility for Inverness. Our bikes are made to make short or longer trips to help residents and visitors to get around the city by cycling in an easy, fun and comfortable way. We are proud to be part of this journey and look forward to the success of Hi-Bike!”
Suvi Loponen, Bewegen’s UK community outreach and business development officer, said: “It’s great to see our bikes roll out at a new destination in Scotland. Inverness is the gateway to the Highlands, and there’s so much to see in the city and its surroundings – and on an e-bike, it’s so easy! Hi-Bike will be a great way for everyone to explore and travel in the area in a sustainable way!”
The initial three sites are accessed from Highland Council’s Inverness City Active Travel Network currently in development, which includes Millburn Road corridor, Raigmore Interchange and the Riverside Way.