NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A new e-bike pilot program has launched in Nashville. 

This week, the Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) and micromobility providers Bird, Lime and Spin announced they have partnered on Nashville’s first e-bike pilot program, which was launched at Geodis Park Tuesday. The pilot program includes areas of north, west and south Nashville around downtown, according to the official announcement. 

The companies, known for providing rental scooters, will utilize geofencing technology to ensure bikes remain in the pilot areas, according to a news release. Additionally, NDOT recently installed 24 new bike racks in the right-of-way to “encourage responsible use of the dockless technology.” 

The department will be working with companies to educate users about bike rack locations and promote the return of e-bikes to designated areas utilizing the geofencing. 

“We’re extremely excited about bringing dockless e-bikes to Nashville in a safe and responsible way,” said NDOT Director Diana Alarcon. “Our goal as a department and city should be to offer a truly multimodal network that prioritizes the most vulnerable roadway users—including people riding bikes, and that’s why we’re committed to quickly and dramatically expanding Nashville’s bikeways network. We believe that by embracing dockless e-bike technology, we can start to change the way people think about their communities.” 

Metro Council District 17 member Colby Sledge has reportedly championed the pilot program along with colleagues, as well as the Transportation Licensing Commissioner Carey Rogers. Both have worked to promote dockless e-bikes as a viable alternative to cars. 

“Dockless e-bikes can help Nashvillians make short trips, like meeting up with friends or heading to a Nashville SC game, without getting in a car,” Sledge said. “With the investments we’re making in bike infrastructure, including new bike racks and protected bike lanes, dockless e-bikes will provide Nashvillians the freedom to enjoy our neighborhoods in a whole new way.” 

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The pilot program will see Bird, Lime and Spin each begin with 25 dockless e-bikes for a total of 75 bikes in the pilot area. The companies will work with the city to address any issues that emerge as the multi-month pilot period progresses. During the pilot time, data will be captured and assessed to determine ways to enhance dockless e-bike implementation across Nashville. 

According to NDOT, the pilot area was developed to exclude downtown Nashville while the Connect Downtown study continues. Recommendations from that study are expected in early Spring 2023, and next steps for the program will be determined at that time. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of bringing a new mobility solution to Nashvillians with our participation in the E-bike Pilot Program,” said Tim Wilcox, Spin Government Partnerships Manager for the East. “We are focused on making it just as easy for people to move around cities via multimodal transportation as it is with a personal vehicle. This program is an important next step in making this a reality. We would like to thank NDOT, the Metro Council, and MTLC for their vision and leadership in this space. It is clear the city of Nashville shares the same vision as we do for a sustainable future of urban transportation. 

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“We’re thrilled to be going multimodal in Nashville, one of our biggest and best cities in the country,” said Kyle Shoemaker, Operations Manager at Lime. “We have worked with the City, NDOT, and with our community partners to build a safe, reliable, and sustainable e-scooter program here and we can’t wait to see how Nashvillians take to our e-bikes. We’re bringing our new, industry leading Gen4 e-bikes here and we think riders will love them. Thank you to the City of Nashville, the Metro Council, and NDOT for your commitment to building a safe and sustainable transportation network here by adding more and more micromobility options and the transit infrastructure to support them. We look forward to working with you to make this pilot a major success and to potentially build on its success with expansion in the future.” 

 “Since first launching in Nashville, we’ve seen how valuable micromobility is for both residents and visitors and this dockless e-bike program will provide riders with even more options,” said Adam Davis, Senior Manager of Government Partnerships with Bird. “With Bird, people are able to access affordable, reliable, and sustainable transportation for commuting, running errands, supporting local businesses, and more, while reducing dependence on cars. We’re thrilled to work with the City of Nashville on this effort and thank the Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure for their partnership throughout the process.”

To learn more about the e-bike pilot program, click HERE.