For anyone looking to find out if an electric-powered bike can make it up Telegraph Hill's Filbert Street in San Francisco, you'll soon get your chance.
The San Francisco Bay Area will be the site of an electric-bike sharing program designed to replace car trips in and around San Francisco and other local cities such as Berkeley, the New York Times reported.
The program, which will be sponsored by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and will be administered through the San Francisco-based nonprofit City CarShare, will include 45 e-bikes distributed throughout San Francisco and Berkeley by the end of the year and another 45 by the end of 2013, the newspaper reported. City CarShare will get $760,000 in grant money to run the program.
As part of the program, U.C. Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center will keep tabs on how often the e-bikes are used and how many car trips they're eliminating.
City CarShare, which charges members $10 a month for the right to rent cars for as little as $5 an hour, will charge about half that hourly rate for the bikes, the Times said. Additionally, whereas the car-sharing program allows renters to drop off the car at a different location from where they picked it up, e-bike renters won't have that option. So, if you start your ride going up a hill, as least you'll be going downhill upon your return.