City begins eco-friendly employee bikeshare program

The City of Encinitas has started a bikeshare program for city employees aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Encinitas-based Electra Bicycle Co. donated four standard bicycles to the city for city employees to use to travel around the city, said Crystal Najera, the city’s climate action plan program administrator.

Two electric bikes are expected to be donated in the coming months.

The program is part of the city’s climate action plan, which currently does not have a budget, Najera said.

The climate action plan includes 39 measures in different categories such as transportation, residential buildings, nonresidential buildings and some that are specific to municipal operations.

The only costs to the city will be minimal, about $1,000 per year, to maintain the bikes, she said.

“We sought support from local businesses and Electra stepped up,” she said. “The hope is that the employees are excited to check them out and use them all the time.”

The bikes, which city officials picked up Jan. 4, came equipped with accessories like bike locks, lights, baskets and helmets.

Robin Canedy, marketing manager for Electra, said it was an easy decision for the company to partner with the city.

“At Electra, we like to say that we make bikes that make people smile… so we were definitely interested in helping the city get more people riding,” she said. “Additionally, we relocated our global headquarters from Vista to downtown Encinitas in the summer of 2015. We wanted to do what neighbors are best at — helping each other out.”

Canedy said the total value of the bikes and accessories came up to about $3,000.

Interested city employees will have to attend mandatory training sessions and sign waivers before riding the bikes, which should be available for use by early February, Najera said.

Once the bike program is in place, the bicycles will be used indefinitely as long as they are being ridden, she added.

Additionally, the city is looking at implementing a master bike plan to add bike lanes around the city and encourage residents to commute alternatively, either by bike, transit or carpooling.

Najera said the city also encourages residents to retrofit their homes with solar panels or drive electric vehicles.

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