How Electric Bikes Can Change Vancouver's LandscapeWhile we hope to see e-bikes launch a new wave of commuter life, health alone may not be good enough to convince some individuals to hop onto the electric biking trend. Luckily, there are some practical incentives that could transform how we think about where we choose to live. For example, various parts of Metro Vancouver are inaccessible because of the lack of adequate and reliable public transit for residents. Currently, centralized areas such as Vancouver and Burnaby are more accessible with public transit, but due to affordability, people are looking to live further out in places like Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack because of the ample land that hasn’t yet been transformed into residential homes. However, these areas have been unoccupied for a reason- getting around without a car in the suburbs is a headache. In 2016, the Vancouver Sun published an article showing how Metro Vancouver residents were demanding for transit improvements, increasing frequency and availability to resolve housing affordability issues.
We’ve seen how changes in public transit can take time which is why having a more flexible option like e-bikes may alleviate stress and concerns surrounding living in cities that are still waiting to have their trains and bus programs to be updated and advanced.
With an e-bike, riders are able to move around on their own time. If the city adopts a share e-bike program, or offer it as part of an employment benefit package as some cities have already started to implement, (read more about ebike programs here) residents will no longer have to worry about finding the closest transit stop to get themselves transported to where they need to be. Living in less public transit-friendly cities may be a deal-breaker for the non-drivers. Instead of having to worry about purchasing a new vehicle and gas prices, these residents would have a much commuter-friendly option with an e-bike. (Read more about commuting with ebikes in Canada.)
In the grand scheme of things, it may be easier to distribute e-bikes as a prominent option for commuting. E-bikes could really help resolve housing affordability issues that has plagued Metro Vancouver for years as residents can finally spread out to other cities where public transit isn’t the most ideal option. Perhaps in the future, if e-bikes do really take off, residents will no longer need to worry about commuting between cities as more people would populate, making the city a thriving place to work and reside in.
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