In this city of hills, you really can travel uphill both ways. So it’s perhaps surprising that New Westminster has such a strong, passionate cycling community. While it is hilly, our city is both compact and central – features that lend themselves to bike commuting. Now City Hall too is sharing the velolove.
The City of New Westminster has added three new electric bikes to its vehicle fleet, making it easier for staff to do business in the city without the need of a car.
As Transportation Demand Management Coordinator Jenyfer Neumann points out in the City’s media release about the purchase, most local trips are as fast or faster by electric bike as by car.
“By sticking to the bike routes, our staff are able to avoid heavy traffic,” Neumann says, “and the full electric assist also keeps staff cool – except for steeper hills, pedaling is not necessary.”
The purchase will reduce car trips for city business as well as employee commutes.
“After surveying staff, we found that many people drive because they need their vehicles for work,” says Neumann. “By providing more fleet vehicles, staff are able to leave their cars at home, or even sell an extra family car if they don’t need it for work anymore.”
The electric bike initiative is only one part of the City’s corporate Transportation Demand Management program, which aims to reduce the number of staff single-passenger car trips by encouraging alternatives such as taking transit, cycling and carpooling.
In addition to providing the three electric bikes for staff use, the City also has:
- made more traditional fleet vehicles available during the work day
- become a member of The Company Car, part of the Co-operative Auto Network
- provided access for city staff to TransLink’s discount annual transit pass program
- implemented a Guaranteed Ride Home policy should staff members taking transit to work be called away to tend to an emergency
- become a member of Jack Bell Ride-Share to promote car-pooling and provide ride-matching
- provided personalized transportation planning for all interested staff
- purchased two fleet “regular” bicycles available for staff use
- updated information available about sustainable transportation options
Way to go New West!