BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - WAFB got a first look Monday, June 17 at the newest addition to Baton Rouge streets. The Gotcha pedal-assist e-bikes haven’t arrived yet, but the docking stations for the new bike share program are being installed downtown.
A launch date has been scheduled for July 11, according to a Gotcha spokesperson.
“These hubs will be in the downtown district, as well as six BREC parks, LSU’s campus, as well as Southern’s campus,” said Cokie Reed, GM for Gotcha’s Baton Rouge project. “We will have 50 hubs around town and that’s going to feature 500 pedal-assist bikes.”
WAFB asked Steve Gilespie, who’s visiting Baton Rouge from San Diego, a city with a prominent bike share system, if Baton Rouge residents were going to like bike share.
“No, I don’t think so because when the people are finished with them, they leave them anywhere that they want to sometimes in front of businesses, and it’s messy,” he responded.
There are still questions about the use of the bikes. Some people wonder about the lack of bike lanes in the city and what happens to the bikes or someone riding the bikes when it rains.
In large cities around the country, and many college towns, once a bike share company brings in bikes, it’s only a matter of time until electric, dockless scooters are also zoomed in.
Gotcha has a scooter fleet that they’ve rolled out in some markets. Other cities have battled with scooter companies over problems with the scooters being left in streets and on sidewalks, but Reed is more focused on the e-bikes for now.
“We don’t have our e-scooters here in Capital City yet, but we are going to continue to push for that bid so that we can put e-scooters on the ground. Right now, we are excited about our pedal-assist bikes coming to Capital City and getting all of our riders acclimated," he said.