Richmond e-bikeshare program relaunches under new name, ‘LEAP’

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Richmond e-bikeshare program relaunches under new name, 'Leap'
Photo, captured Sept. 16, 2022, at the Richmond Ferry Terminal, courtesy of Richmond Mayor Tom Butt's Office.

After a hiatus, Richmond’s e-bikeshare program has returned.

The relaunch began today and will be phased in over the next 30 days with expansion planned throughout the community, according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. The announcement came just in time for the Micromobility America Conference taking place at the Craneway Pavilion Sept. 15-16.

The City of Richmond’s new e-bike program is a partnership with LEAP Mobility and Element LEV. It followed the sudden shutdown of the previous program by Bolt Mobility, a company co-founded by Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt that abruptly went out of business. Mayor Butt details those events here.

In a special meeting Aug. 19, Richmond City Council approved a phased plan to relaunch the e-bikeshare service with a new provider. 

“We are excited to partner with LEAP Mobility and Element LEV to relaunch Richmond’s E-Bikeshare system,” Mayor Butt said. “While the past 30 days have been challenging, the City staff has worked diligently with our new partners to bring the system back to life in time for Richmond to host the world’s most important mobility conference, Micromobility America. Our system will be a phased re-launch over the next 30 days with expansion planned throughout the community.  E-bikes provide a safe, eco-friendly mode of active transportation for residents and visitors of Richmond.”

The e-bike program was launched in the summer of 2021 via a $1 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The city’s former partnership with Bolt had seen the dispersal of a fleet of 250 electric-assist e-bikes at locations throughout Richmond.