TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) have been working hard to deliver the eHUBs projects across Greater Manchester (GM). In GM, the eHUBs project will deliver 10 discrete hubs, providing for public hire around 10 electric car club vehicles and 25 e-cargobikes, across locations in Greater Manchester: Bury Town Centre, Prestwich, Chorlton, Whalley Range and Ancoats.
Setting up the eHUBs in Manchester has not been without its challenges (mainly as a result of COVID-19) with the main challenge being around choosing and getting approval for the right locations for the eHUBs and ensuring the locations are accessible, safe and serve community interests. Suitable locations have now been identified thanks to close collaboration with the Local Authorities; with the locations for both the EVs and the e-cargo bikes currently going through consultation with councillors, local ward members and residents to ensure there is no opposition to the scheme.
Moreover, as e-cargo bikes are a new form of mobility in Manchester, it has been imperative we work closely with local authorities to understand which locations are likely to have the most success in terms of promoting uptake. TfGM, recognise the importance of projects such as eHUBs in terms of helping Greater Manchester recover from the pandemic in a sustainable way, capitalising on substantial investment in active travel infrastructure which is being implemented as part of the Bee Network.
In addition, TfGM are excited by the eHUBs branding that has been created for the project, achieved by learning what has worked well in the partner cities and working closely with our internal comms and marketing teams. Both the branding and eHUBs website will align the eHUbs project with the wider public transport network in Greater Manchester, helping to promote the uptake of shared mobility modes. In addition, the website will provide information on the eHUBs, including info on how to book, interactive maps of locations and vehicle types.
Despite the eHUBs not yet being operational in Manchester, the project has provided a number of useful insights and lessons, for example the project has directly influenced the development of the TfGM’s Shared Mobility Strategy and the Electric Charging Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.
It is intended that the eHUBs in GM will be operational late July / early August.