E-bikes return to streets of Providence

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — If you’re looking to bike around Providence while doing a minimal amount of work, you’re in luck.

Electric bikes are once again available for rent in the capital city through Spin, which is owned by Ford Motor Company.

Mayor Jorge Elorza gave the program an official welcome on Monday, saying it increases accessibility by adding a new mode of transportation.

To start, Spin has 100 bikes available across the city, with plans to ramp up to 400 bikes by September. Each bike costs $1 to unlock and $0.29 per minute to ride, with a reduced fare for low-income residents who sign up online.

“E-bikes and e-scooters will be available for people without smartphones mobile location services or credit cards,” Elorza noted. “Spin Access also provides discounted fares for those who receive financial aid through a state or federal program.”

In 2019, Providence paired with JUMP bikes, which proved to be popular, but ran into issues with people riding them without paying and taking them off the GPS grid.

Providence police say the bikes were also used to flee crime scenes or were stolen.

The bikes were then pulled from the streets with a promise from the company to make them more tamper-proof and eventually bring them back to Providence. In the interim, however, the Uber-owned e-bike company was sold to a scooter company called Lime, and the bikes never returned.

Spin promises that their bikes are “highly tamper-resistant,” and say they are working with Providence police to prevent problems.

Visit the city of Providence’s website to learn more about Spin and its shared micromobility program.

For smartphone users, the Spin app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

People without access to a smartphone or credit card can contact Spin Support at 1-888-262-5189, support@spin.pm or visit Spin’s website for more information on signing up.

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