Most of Brighton’s bikeshare bikes are set to go electric when the scheme relaunches next year.
Bidders are now being invited to express an interest in running the scheme, with a requirement for at least 60% of the bikes to be electric
Bidding closes in early May and it’s hoped new operator and supplier contracts will be agreed by the end of the summer.
A new contract will include expanding the current fleet of bikes from 600 to 780, of which at least 60% will be electric bikes.
However, the council has warned it could take a while for this target to be reached, as global supply chain issues mean there will be delays in getting new bikes onto the streets.
In the meantime, the current scheme will continue with more refurbished bikes until the new fleet has been delivered and all systems have been tested.
Councillor Steve Davis, Co-Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “This really is an exciting time for BTN BikeShare. With electric bikes being added to the fleet and new hubs planned for the city, we’re giving our residents and visitors every reason to take advantage of this wonderful scheme.
“We have to offer options to vehicle use and this is a step in the right direction if we are to meet our carbon neutral targets.
“There’s also the thrilling prospect of seeing the scheme expanded beyond Brighton & Hove’s boundaries.
“BTN BikeShare is a community asset the city can be proud of. It’s a key part of our work to tackle the climate crisis, reduce congestion and reach our target of being net zero by 2030.”
The council says the new scheme will also create the potential to expand to neighbouring local authorities.
The new operator will be scored not only on the quality of their bid and offer to users, but also on their sustainability commitments and the social value they can offer to the city.
This will require them to tailor their marketing and offers to underrepresented cycling groups in the city, such as those from the BME community, over-55s and others, to create employment opportunities for young people and to show that sustainability will be a key part of the way the scheme is operated.
As well as new electric bikes, there will also be 312 new pedal-only bikes to replace the existing pedal-only fleet, more hubs around the city and range of tariff options for users.
A new sponsor will also be sought.