Mar 20, 2024 - News

D.C.'s e-bike voucher program launches next month

Animated illustration of a lightning bolt on two wheels.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

D.C.'s e-bike voucher program, meant to make it easier for residents to buy and maintain electric bikes, opens on Monday, April 1.

Why it matters: E-bike incentives have been popular in other cities like Denver, and D.C.'s program especially tries to help lower-income riders.

How it works: The application window runs from April 1 to April 15.

  • For the first round, only "preferred applicants" are eligible. That includes D.C. residents enrolled in food assistance through SNAP, the temporary assistance for needy families program, Medicaid, or the DC Healthcare Alliance.
  • Applications can be submitted online or in person at pop-up events held by the city's transportation department.

What they're saying: "For a lot of folks, it only takes one or two rides on an e-bike and you're hooked," council member Charles Allen, who authored the underlying legislation, tells Axios.

If the program has funds left over, another application window will open for the rest of the public.

  • 250 vouchers are expected to be handed out.

ğŸ”Ž Zoom in: Preferred applicants can get a $2,000 voucher for an electric cargo bike and $1,500 for a standard e-bike. There are also vouchers for annual maintenance ($250), disability components ($250), and a bicycle lock ($150).

  • Standard applicants can get up to $1,000 for an electric cargo bike, $750 for an e-bike, $125 for disability components, and $75 for a lock.
  • There are twelve authorized retailers where the vouchers can be spent.

The big picture: About $500,000 is invested in the program this first fiscal year, Allen said. "We know the demand is going to outpace the supply."

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