The Big Issue has teamed up with ShareBike to launch an e-bike scheme.
Big Issue-branded e-bikes were modelled this week by Big Issue founder Lord John Bird in Cambridge as he launched the scheme to support previously unemployed people back into work.
With plans to launch a fleet across the UK in early 2021, The Big Issue will pay employees a living wage to manage the scheme in their local area. Access to services and support will also be offered to improve lives affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By renting an e-bike from The Big Issue not only are you doing good for the environment but you are doing good for others too,” said Lord Bird. “You are biking for good.”
He is calling on councils and local businesses from all over the UK to take up the scheme. “We are living through some dark times, with predictions that hundreds of thousands of people could lose their jobs and be made homeless,” he added. “It’s been wonderful to come together with a like-minded organisation with a truly innovative venture that offers hope to those facing great adversity due to COVID-related poverty.
“We are confident that The Big Issue e-bikes scheme will recruit and retrain unemployed and vulnerable people in local communities and provide them with access to support and services to improve their lives.”
Jan Tore Endresen, chief executive of ShareBike, said: “In our partnership with The Big Issue, ShareBike sees a unique opportunity to help people whilst providing sustainable mobility.
“With more than 20 years’ experience in global bike-sharing, we have ensured that Big Issue e-bikes offer a comfortable and convenient alternative to fossil fuel-based transportation, as well as providing an affordable mode of travelling around cities in the UK.”
The Big Issue is urging councils and businesses across the UK to sign up to the scheme at www.bigissue.bike.