Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
If you get sticker shock from the price tag on an e-bike, you might get a push from City Hall.
What’s happening: Atlanta City Council member Matt Westmoreland and several of his colleagues want the city to study whether incentives could coax people onto e-bikes.
Why it matters: E-bikes — sales of which grew 240% in the past year, per an April Bicycling report — can reduce transportation costs and drastically reduce carbon emissions.
- But some bikes can run upwards of $2,000; cargo versions can cost double that. Cities and employers across the country are offering rebates, low-interest loans and giveaways to help cover the cost, Axios’ Jennifer Kingson reports.
Details: The legislation calls for the city to create a committee — one that includes transportation officials and advocates for bicyclists and equity — to study other cities’ e-bike incentive programs.
- If Atlanta’s program moves forward, the city would use $1 million in federal funding to shore up the rebate program.
Zoom out: Launched this past April, Denver’s e-bike rebate — it started at $400 and increased based on income — was tapped out in roughly 21 days. The city is exploring allocating more cash to meet demand.
Yes, but: Denver came up short on equity goals to make sure people living on low incomes received half of the funding, Axios’ Alayna Alvarez reports.
What they’re saying: “E-bikes are replacing car trips in other cities, so they can help Atlanta achieve goals around workforce access to opportunity, climate, health, and a more livable city,” Rebecca Serna of Propel ATL, Atlanta’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, tells Axios.
What’s next: The legislation gets its first vetting by the council’s transportation committee next week. Council members want to launch the rebate program on April 22, 2023 — Earth Day.
💭 Thomas’ thought bubble: Atlanta’s a great place to bicycle but can be daunting for newbies thanks to poorly designed and maintained roads, reckless drivers and the hills.
- I’m for anything that gets people out of their cars and onto bikes, be they pedal- or battery-powered.