Bristol is the first home of Big Issue eBikes – an electric bike share scheme that will recruit and retrain unemployed and vulnerable people in local communities.
With a wider UK roll out planned to follow, the scheme plans to offer both green employment opportunities as well as greener transport options, with all recruits paid a ‘living wage’. The Big Issue say they have “a strong presence in Bristol” with their role of “helping the most vulnerable get back on to their feet and supporting them into income generation.”
The scheme’s 500 e-bikes will also directly benefit Bristol’s Clean Air plan, with an estimated reduction of 1,900 car trips each day.
Big Issue eBikes is being launched with a £450,000 investment from City Funds, a Bristol-based impact investment fund run by Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) and will run in partnership with Norwegian micromobility company, ShareBike.
The hire scheme plans to open in Aberdeen in late spring, with other locations to be announced soon.
Speaking to Pedelecs yesterday, a spokesperson for Big Issue eBikes said: “We wanted to find new sustainable income generating opportunities for people. E-bikes are great way for us to demonstrate this, not only by providing jobs for people right now but also ensuring that we are creating a better environment for future generations. Each fleet of 300- 500 bikes creates approximately 10 new jobs. Using the experience of our partner ShareBike, we ensure that all staff have the relevant training and The Big Issue is there to support them with any other needs to make sure they are successful.”
Jari Moate, Investment Manager at BBRC, said: “Not only are there clear environmental benefits to this micro-mobility solution, Big Issue and ShareBike have ensured local social and financial value too. It’s the vital triple-bottom-line approach that’s necessary if we’re going to create a sustainable and inclusive future, and we’re very pleased to be helping bring this scheme to Bristol first.”