Rialto awarded $1 million to launch electric bike share program

Photo City of Rialto: The funding will allow Rialto to set up an electric bike share system across the City, with about 100 bikes and about 15 stations.

The City of Rialto has been awarded $1 million to fund an electric bike share program under an innovative new statewide program aimed at making it cleaner, easier, healthier and cheaper for Californians to get from point A to point B. 

The Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program (CMO) is a statewide initiative that provides funding for zero-emission shared mobility options to under-resourced communities in California. CMO is available throughout California to eligible disadvantaged communities, as well as eligible low-income tribal and affordable-housing communities, to increase access to safe, reliable, convenient and affordable transportation options.

The funding will allow Rialto to set up an electric bike share system across the City, with about 100 bikes and about 15 stations. Electric pedal-assist bikes, in which an on-bike electric motor adds power each time a rider pedals, make it easier for riders to travel farther and faster. The Rialto Bike Share Program follows a study conducted by the City that showed residents preferring the bike share concept over other personal mobility options.

The program will help the City meet its clean air goals, provide an affordable and accessible form of transportation and make it easier for residents to access public transportation.

“We’re honored to receive this funding and to be able now to aggressively implement our bike share program,” said Mayor Deborah Robertson. “Using bicycles as a means of transportation has grown in popularity as communities try to create more balanced and sustainable transportation systems. Our bike share program represents a giant step forward in eliminating mobility barriers and creating greater equity throughout the City.”

A key goal of the Rialto Bike Share Program is to provide mobility options to low-income community members. Among the considerations will be a mechanism to sign up for the service without the use of a smartphone, income-based discounts and customer service that accommodates multiple languages.

Through a series of community engagement efforts over the past several years, residents have an important voice in designing the bike share program.

“With stations near transit stops, employment hubs and schools, the bike share system will increase mobility options in areas that our residents identified as most in need of new solutions,” said Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott. “All of this is on top of the active transportation infrastructure improvements we’ve been implementing to make our streets safer for everyone.”

The award announcement culminates a vigilant effort by City staff and the Council to provide enhanced active transportation options for residents. The Bike Share Study, which was finalized in 2020, recommended an initial system consisting of 30-45 bikes and six or seven stations. The additional funding will nearly triple those numbers.