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The Town of Vail recently issued the following press release on its E-Bikes for Essentials program:
Applications are now available for the Town of Vail’s E-Bikes for Essentials program, which will provide eight free electric bikes to Vail residents and essential workers who meet specific criteria. The participant agreement and application can found on lovevail.org/ebikes and are due by 5 p.m. Friday, May 12.
Criteria to be considered include:
Selected participants will receive a QuietKat Villager e-bike and accessories including a helmet, pump, lock and pannier commuting bags at no cost.
Those selected will be required to commute to work, run errands and attend social events via e-bike as often as possible, and at least two times per week rather than driving a personal vehicle during non-snow months for a minimum of two years. In addition, participants must track all trips made and modes of travel using the OpenPATH app developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), as well as participate in the Sole Power Green Commuting Challenge. Participants may not sell the e-bike and must return the e-bike and equipment to the Town of Vail if they decide the program is not for them.
Final selection of program participants will take place no later than Friday, May 26. A mandatory program orientation and bike distribution will be scheduled based on participant availability.
The E-Bikes for Essentials program launched in 2021 with seven e-bikes and is a partnership between Town of Vail, NRE, and QuietKat. Modeled off the Can Do Colorado E-Bike Pilot Program developed by the Colorado Energy Office in 2020, this program equips local workers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while demonstrating that e-bikes are a safe, healthy and convenient way to take essential trips around town. An additional six bikes were distributed in 2022.
In the Town of Vail, transportation has been identified as the second greatest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and therefore presents a great opportunity for improvement. The Climate Action Collaborative for the Eagle County community has identified that if residents employ smart commuting options twice per week, transportation GHG emissions will be reduced by 17%. Smart commuting includes working remotely, carpooling, taking the bus and human powered forms of commuting such as biking and walking. Results from the 2020 Climate Action Collaborative commuter survey showed that owning an electric bike was the most popular option to alternative commuting options. However, cost is often a barrier to entry.
Questions about the program, applications or timeline can be directed to Beth Markham, Environmental Sustainability Manager for Town of Vail, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-479-2333.