Doubts over whether the City of Penticton will be able to meet transportation demands for its own staff prompted an idea that will soon cost $25,000.
It didn’t take long for council to unanimously approve a proposal on Tuesday, April 5, calling for the purchase of four electronic bikes for bylaw services and recycling ambassadors.
And after Coun. Julius Bloomfield said, “a movement” is occurring right before the city’s eyes, an alternate form of transportation was officially introduced to Penticton.
“The movement is here and I certainly hope this is the start of reviewing all of the fleet and what can be done about reducing our emissions,” Bloomfield said at council’s regular meeting.
Purchasing the four e-bikes comes with risk, though, according to the staff’s presentation.
Issues associated with staff acceptance, training and theft were all addressed, with the latter getting most of the attention.
“I agree that one of the risks we have with this is theft,” said Coun. Frank Regehr. “How are we going to protect ourselves with that issue?”
Public works manager Len Robson responded by suggesting the need for high-quality locks on each of the e-bikes and for the installation of GPS devices.
“While the devices won’t stop it from getting stolen, it will help with getting it back,” he replied.
The four bikes will be paid for through the city’s Climate Action Reverse, which holds over $500,000 as of New Year’s Eve 2021.
Although the use of e-bikes is dependent on the season, Robson added that city staff has already provided “positive feedback.”
The life of the electronic battery will last for the duration of a typical shift for city staff.