Colorado Energy Office and Bicycle Colorado team up to launch electric bikes pilot program for low-income essential workers

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DENVER - Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 - The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and Bicycle Colorado today announced a newly launched pilot program to provide Class 1 electric bikes to low-income essential workers as a transportation solution in Denver. Northeast Transportation Connections, a transportation management agency in Northeast Denver, provided outreach support to community members, and the bikes were ordered, built and distributed by SloHi Bikes on Colfax Avenue. The Colorado Electric Vehicle Coalition Equity Subgroup Committee provided guidance on program design.

The new Can Do Colorado eBike pilot program for low-income essential workers is part of the Can Do Colorado Community Challenge, a state initiative Governor Polis announced in June. Can Do Colorado provides an array of state resources to help reopen the economy safely while making progress toward important health and community vitality goals including making streets more accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and retail and restaurant uses, supporting telecommuting, and expanding use of eBikes. The goal of the Can Do Colorado eBike pilot program is to support essential workers’ access to jobs by providing electric bikes as a safe, healthy and convenient way to take essential trips around town.

Bicycle Colorado distributed 13 Momentum LaFree E+ eBikes to the first program participants along with equipment including helmets, lights, locks, other accessories, and informational materials. Bicycle Colorado and Northeast Transportation Connections hosted 1-on-1 trainings as well as educational sessions on safe and legal city riding practices. Participants also received access to the CanBikeCO trip and emission tracking app, which was developed in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Can Do Colorado eBike program, launched as a pilot, sets the stage for a larger statewide version in 2021.

“Electric bicycles are a wonderful option for commuting to work and doing errands around town. They provide affordable, low emission, healthy transportation,” said CEO Executive Director Will Toor. “The state is excited to be able to help expand access to eBikes for low-income essential workers.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of kicking this program into high gear alongside the Colorado Energy Office,” said Jack Todd, Director of Communications and Policy at Bicycle Colorado. “eBikes are an efficient, cost-effective and fun way to travel, and have been shown to change transportation habits. With the Can Do Colorado eBike program, the state is making a statement that 'electric vehicles' means more than just cars, and putting that into action while supporting low-income, essential worker Coloradans."  

Governor Polis is acting to address Colorado’s climate crisis through a bold vision to get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and meet the science-based targets for reducing GHG pollution. Under the direction of the Governor’s Climate Cabinet, several state agencies including CEO are working together to deliver on the goals of this vision by building a roadmap for climate action, which includes partnerships like this one with Bicycle Colorado. The Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020 includes state actions to consider eBikes in mobility planning and to support policies providing eBike incentives for low-income individuals.