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Popular Denver e-bike voucher program aids carbon reduction goals

Urban Planning

Popular Denver e-bike voucher program aids carbon reduction goals

Improved biking infrastructure key to optimizing the initiative


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | April 12, 2024
Image by Jürgen Polle from Pixabay - Popular Denver e-bike voucher program aids carbon reduction goals

Image by Jürgen Polle from Pixabay

Denver’s e-bike voucher program that helps citizens pay for e-bikes, a component of the city’s carbon reduction plan, has proven extremely popular with residents.

Earlier this year, Denver’s effort to get residents to swap some motor vehicle trips for bike trips ran out of vouchers in less than 10 minutes after the program opened to online applications. In its third year, the program is generating impressive momentum to spur more adoption of bicycle transportation. The city estimates that the subsidies are helping to eliminate 170,000 vehicle miles traveled per week.

A key to this growth has been considerable investment in bike infrastructure. Over the past five years, the city added 137 miles of “high-comfort” bike lanes.

This year, it launched the Denver Mobility Incentive Program that includes grants to nonprofits and other organizations to install bike storage lockers, places to plug in, and e-bike libraries so that residents can borrow bikes at no cost. If rolled out nationwide, efforts to convert car trips to bike trips could yield significant carbon emissions reductions, according to Rocky Mountain Institute.

If the country’s 10 most populous cities shifted a quarter of all short vehicle trips to e-bike rides, they could save 4.2 million barrels of oil and 1.8 million metric tons of CO2 in one year, RMI says.

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