Accelerating Clean Communities With E-Bike Systems (ACCESS)
E-bikes outsold electric cars by 2:1 in 2020, yet low public investment undervalues their clean transportation impacts and latent demand. Low-income and smaller communities are left out of the growing e-bike revolution, which blends active and electric mobility benefits. Shared micromobility companies rarely invest in these markets, nor do they offer a consistent, everyday transportation solution for residents. Meanwhile, personally owned e-bikes are often cost-prohibitive to purchase. Our solution encompasses short-, medium-, and long-term actions to make e-bikes accessible at a scale rarely seen in the United States. These actions include free e-bike lending libraries (leveraging a fleet of donated e-bikes), 1,500 substantial tiered e-bike rebates, and long-term supportive infrastructure planning within five disadvantaged communities across New York State. As a result, e-bikes will become an integral part of the local transportation landscape, improve access, and reduce emissions. We will evaluate participation, outcomes, and scalability through user engagement.
Our holistic approach of short-, medium-, and long-term actions will catalyze lasting e-bike mobility in target communities.
In the short term, we will establish an e-bike lending library to benefit underserved neighborhoods in each community. Libraries will offer e-bikes free of charge for an extended period, enabling participants to discover how e-bikes can meet their daily travel needs. The library fleet will consist mostly of e-bikes donated by Uber. It may also include adaptive/accessible e bikes and cargo e-bikes to maximize inclusivity and utility. This program will include operations and maintenance, safety training, and community engagement activities.
In the medium term, we will offer an e-bike purchase rebate to each library participant to provide a permanent electric transportation solution. The rebate value will vary based on median family income (MFI): 90% of costs up to $2,000 for 0-50% MFI, 60% of costs up to $1,000 for 50-100% MFI, and 30% of costs up to $400 for over 100% MFI. Rebates will be redeemable at local bike shops, ensuring participants use rebates toward quality vehicles and have access to maintenance while providing further economic development.
Lastly, we will provide infrastructure planning for the long-term support of electric active transportation in each community, including bike lanes, corrals, and charging facilities. This will include implementation of tactical pilot projects or pop-ups using temporary, low-cost materials, including paint, flex posts, and movable curbs.
Underlying these three components, the team will provide project management, stakeholder engagement, marketing and communications, and performance evaluation.