E-bike scheme attracts fewer staff than hoped

An e-bike scheme to get staff from the Dunedin City Council on bikes has attracted less interest than had been hoped.

Fifty-one council staff took part in the scheme that offered discounts and an up-to-$2000 salary advance to purchase an alternative way to get around, council infrastructure services general manager Simon Drew said.

Internal surveying of staff before the Covid-19 lockdown had suggested there was strong support for such a scheme and last year he estimated that as many as 300 e-bikes could be bought for staff under the scheme.

"While the final uptake was lower than initial expectations, any move by staff to explore alternative forms of transport is a positive step forward," Mr Drew said yesterday.

He said a deadline extension through the lockdown was successful in giving staff more time to sign up for the e-bikes offer, resulting in an improved uptake.

The scheme was originally planned to end on March 31, but because of Covid-19 was extended through to June 12.

The council worked with the Otago Polytechnic to allow suppliers to have the opportunity to provide bulk sales of e-bikes to both organisations and, Mr Drew said, 22 polytechnic staff had taken part in the scheme.

The council also had bought one e-bike to keep in its council vehicle fleet, for use by staff for work purposes, a council spokesman confirmed.

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