BEND, OR -- Low-income Bend residents can now apply for a rebate to purchase an electric bicycle. There are a total of 75 $2,000 rebates available. Cassie Lacey, with the city, says the amount is designed to make e-bikes affordable for everyone. "When we talked with e-bike retailers, they were suggesting that the average cost of a base model e-bike is around $2,500, so the estimated out of pocket expense for an e-bike would be about $500. That said, there are some that are even more affordable than that."
She tells KBND News the City Council believes it could help ease traffic congestion, "It supports our transportation goals by supporting alternative transportation. It also supports equity goals the city has around supporting vulnerable populations meet some of their basic needs like transportation."
The goal is to build on the popularity of Bend’s e-bike-share program, launched last year, "Compared to other cities of similar size, our usage for those bikes is very, very high, so we know that we have a population that is using those to a great degree." Lacey says researchers looked at the routes taken regularly by users, "And they were able to track how many people appeared to be using the bikes for commuting. We, again, had a very high number."
Funding comes from a $150,000 state Clean Mobility Grant, managed by Pacific Power. "It’s not coming from the City of Bend’s discretionary funds," says Lacey, "So, these are not funds that the city would be able to use on other projects. These are coming from the state, basically, that can only be used for these types of projects."
Applicants must make 80% of the area median income or less, live inside the Bend City limits and be a Pacific Power customer. Rebates will be awarded in three lotteries: April 17th, May first and May 15th. After being selected, recipients then must purchase an e-bike from a local retailer. Click HERE for more information, including the application.