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CalBike webinar to address state funding for e-bike share programs

Published January 17, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BRAIN) — The California Bicycle Coalition is hosting a webinar on Wednesday on a new grant program that promises limited but symbolically important funding for electric bike share programs. 

The webinar will feature officials from the California Air Resources Board, which oversees the program, who will explain the pilot program and take questions.

The webinar is 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST (2 – 3 p.m. EST) Wednesday. Register here. CalBike will make a recording of the webinar available afterward.

Under what’s called the Car-Sharing Pilot Program, the state will offer up to $6 million to underwrite “clean” car-share programs (using electric cars, for example) in “disadvantaged” California communities. These programs can incorporate e-bike share programs as well, which will be eligible to receive up to 10 percent of a project’s funding.

Eligible e-bikes have to be Type 1 or 2 bikes (which can go up to 20 miles an hour with electric assist). Bike share systems have to offer one charger and one locking station per bike, and enough helmets to serve potential riders.

The state defines “disadvantaged communities” as those most affected by pollution; with residents who are especially sensitive to pollution’s effects such as young children and people with asthma; and where socioeconomic factors such as race and poverty also make them vulnerable.

Linda Khamoushian, CalBike’s communications manager, said CalBike hopes the webinar will give the ARB a chance to explain its thinking and hear ideas from others.

“We want to inform them about what type of projects people are thinking about or even involved in already that they may want to open up this application to,” Khamoushian said.

The ARB funds California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, and other similar programs, that help residents replace high-polluting cars with electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CalBike has been lobbying the ARB to include bicycles, including electric bicycles, in these programs. They are underwritten by hundreds of millions of dollars in funding that flows annually from the state’s cap-and-trade program, designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CalBike is also promoting a more ambitious proposal that would make Californians eligible to receive vouchers for buying a conventional or electric transportation bike that would be used to replace car trips.

The ARB expects to begin soliciting proposals in February, and award the grants in May.

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