The California Bicycle Coalition is asking the California Air Resources Board to expand their incentive programs to include the cleanest vehicle of all: the bicycle.
The ARB funds the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program and similar state programs to help people replace high-polluting cars with electric cars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they don’t have any programs to encourage bicycle riding. CalBike proposes to change that with a $10 million Bicycle Purchase Incentive Pilot Program.
The program will provide incentives in the form of vouchers for half of the cost of bikes that are commonly used for transportation, up to a maximum value of $500, or $1000 for electric bicycles. Bike share programs and bicycle repair services may also be supported, in addition to vouchers to incentivize purchase of cargo bikes, electric bikes, folding bikes, and other utilitarian bicycles used for everyday transportation. No funding would be taken from existing bicycle-related sources.
Electric bikes are quickly becoming the “vehicle of choice” for thousands of Californians who are discovering the health benefits of bicycling while helping to reduce the environmental impact of our state’s transportation system. Electric bikes benefit people new to cycling who may be discouraged from riding a traditional bicycle due to limited physical fitness, age, disability or convenience. They are often a “gateway” to fully self-propelled bicycling. Electric bikes are especially important for senior citizens, parents with children, people with disabilities, and people whose trips involve steep hills or whose work commutes are within the 5-20 mile range and who traditionally drive.Electric bikes use green battery technology and would be an important addition to California’s growing energy-efficient transportation system. These quiet and low-speed transportation devices also benefit small business owners by providing a cost-effective alternative to cars and trucks when used for equipment transport and deliveries.
Sign your name to tell the CARB if California wants to reduce greenhouse gasses and encourage people to take polluting cars off the street, they should support the amazing potential that electric bicycles represent.