Earlier this year, we partnered with the Atlanta City Council to advance the idea that e-bikes could be a bigger part of the solutions to our transportation woes – if they were more affordable for more people. As a result, the City of Atlanta formed a working group tasked with outlining the program and identifying an organization to run it.
Now, the idea takes a big step forward with legislation to fund a $1 million pilot program! The resolution, introduced by Councilmember Matt Westmoreland, calls for the program to be managed by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). Propel ATL will lead outreach, engagement, and education for this initiative.
Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo
The program structure will prioritize equity by dedicating a majority of the rebates to low-income households and by providing an upfront “point-of-sale” rebate, making it accessible to a wider spectrum of residents.
ARC was selected to run the e-bike rebate program because of its experience with similar rebates and subsidies, including the water efficiency rebate and Georgia Commute Options. Propel ATL's efforts will include organizing demo days and bicycle classes, ensuring that the program reaches and benefits those who need it most. This inclusive approach seeks to empower the community with knowledge and access to e-bikes as a sustainable and affordable transportation solution.
Why incentivize e-bikes?
- Residents making 80% of the area median income spend 62% of their income on housing and transportation.
- The average Atlanta resident spends over $11,000 each year on transportation.
- It costs less than $15 to power an e-bike for a year; it costs $1,300 to buy gas for the average car.
- E-bikes can replace many car trips – 75% of car trips in the U.S. are less than ten miles.
Other cities are finding success. For example, the city of Denver launched a $3 million e-bike incentives program which...
- Replaced 100,000 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per week
- Avoided 2,040 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year (Five metric CO2 emissions are produced by the average car each year.)
- Steered 67% of funding to income qualified residents
- E-bikes have been shown to increase cycling accessibility and physical activity for seniors and people with disabilities.
Next, we’ll share details on how the program will work!