Shared e-bike program provides jobs for unemployed residents

This article was originally published by Sarah Wray to Cities Today, the leading information platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of urban leaders. For the latest updates, follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube or subscribe to Cities Today News.

A new shared e-bike program in the UK will recruit and train unemployed and vulnerable people, paying them a living wage and giving them access to support and services.

The initiative by The Big Issue Group, in partnership with micromobility company ShareBike, was launched in Bristol with plans to expand nationwide.

“After 30 years of supporting providers, we are providing opportunity to a growing number of people who are marginalized in different ways,” said Paul Cheal, CEO of The Big Issue Group, the social enterprise that also manages The big problem magazine sold by homeless and poorly housed people in the UK.

“We worked together with Charities Aid Foundation, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, Bristol City Council and many local community groups in Bristol on the launch of the first The Big Issue eBikes scheme.”

The program is also designed to support goals encouraging people to cycle rather than drive. The estimated benefit for Bristol with a deployment of around 500 bikes is a direct reduction of 1,900 car journeys per day, organizers say.


Bikes can be rented through the Big Issue eBike app with a monthly subscription or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The scheme was launched with an investment of £450,000 (US$612,182) from City Funds, a Bristol-based impact investment fund managed by Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC).

“It will be innovations like the Big Issue e-bikes that will be key to ensuring a just transition, here in Bristol and across the UK,” said Jari Moate, Chief Investment Officer, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital.

“Not only does this micromobility solution have clear environmental benefits, but Big Issue and ShareBike have also ensured local social and financial value. It is the vital triple bottom line approach that is needed if we are to create a sustainable and inclusive future. , and we are very happy to help bring this program to Bristol first.

Aberdeen is the next planned city for The Big Issue eBikes.

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