CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Today marks 11 years since Bike Chattanooga launched their electric bike system across the city.
The area around the Walnut Street Bridge is a hotspot in our community for outdoor activity.
This includes biking.
For cyclists, they now have a new option on the south end of the bridge.
“The Walnut Plaza station will allow it to charge bikes on one of the busiest stations we have in town, that way people will always be able to find a bike that’s ready to boost them around the city,” Ben Taylor, Public Works Deputy Administrator for the city of Chattanooga said.
The Walnut Plaza bike station was electrified on Thursday.
50 e-bikes are now available for the public to use at this station.
There was also a new station opened in the Hill City neighborhood of North Chattanooga.
There are now 43 e-bike stations across the city of Chattanooga.
“I think it’s a great program. Gets people on bikes, out of cars, particularly it’s used by tourists on a big scale. They want to park their cars and see our city,” John Mathna, the co-owner of the Chattanooga Electric Bike Company said.
Placing the bikes along the south end of the Walnut Street Bridge is more than just placing a new station.
It’s about promoting sustainability across the city.
“This system has an option to replace those short car trips,” Taylor said.
The system was founded on a grant to help alleviate environmental pollution but is also seen as a way to relieve congestion on downtown streets.
Enthusiasts see it as a way to promote what’s called a micro-mobility movement to improve urban transportation.
Mathna said, “It’s basically getting people out of large automobiles that pollute and getting into smaller vehicles that can transport them and maybe one, or maybe two other people.”
The excitement for the station was evident as bystanders rented out the first e-bikes from Walnut Plaza.
Diana Davies said, “It makes it safer, much safer, and a lot more fun.”
Bike Chattanooga gave away free rides on their service Thursday.
You can still take advantage of this offer through 11 p.m. Thursday, July 20.
There are also e-scooters available at the station.