Richmond’s electric bike share program delayed

Where should electric bike hubs be located in Richmond?
250 e-bikes and 25 e-bike hubs are set to be deployed in Richmond as part of a partnership with Gotcha Mobility. (Photo credit: Gotcha Mobility)

By Kathy Chouteau

A plan to disperse 250 electric bicycles at 25 stations throughout Richmond this spring has been delayed due to fallout from China’s COVID-19 quarantine.

Gotcha Mobility, which has a bike share agreement with the City that will enable short-term, fee-based use, is currently encountering production delays from the Chinese manufacturers of its electric pedal assist bikes.

Shipping delays are also anticipated by the company since the bikes will originate as foreign shipments of non-essential items during the pandemic.

“Since China was under a mandated quarantine after their New Year holiday, all manufacturers were unable to begin production as originally planned,” per a statement in Richmond’s City Manager’s report.

“Gotcha’s manufacturers are producing for us again and most of their factories are at 70 percent or more of their workforce capacity. Now that there is a clearer understanding of how this impacted factory partners in China, it is believed that Gotcha manufacturers are only experiencing a 6-8 week delay in our anticipated production schedule.”

The City stated in the report that it is unclear how long shipment of the bikes will take and will keep the community updated as the situation evolves.

In the meantime, residents are invited to complete a short survey to weigh-in on where the bike hubs should be placed around Richmond.

For more info about Richmond’s Gotcha Bike Share Program, click here.