ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council approved a plan to give an instant rebate to Atlanta residents who buy an E-bike.
Under the proposal, residents could get somewhere between a $500 and $2,000 instant rebate. How much would depend on a person’s income level and the type of bike they buy.
“We came up with an idea on how we can do a climate-friendly way of getting folks out of their cars,” Councilman Matt Westmoreland said.
Oh, and it only lasts until the money runs out.
Atlanta is not the first city to offer a similar rebate. Westmoreland says similar programs have worked in cities like Boston and Denver.
“I expect these first million dollars to be snapped up quickly,” Westmoreland said.
“It just opens up a lot of doors for people who normally wouldn’t be on bikes before this,” Co-Partner of Peachtree Bikes Patrick Gregory said.
Gregory says E-bike sales have risen rapidly in recent years and now account for around 50% of his business.
“It makes you feel like Superman. When you are riding the bike, it boosts you along, so it amplifies your own pedaling power,” Gregory said.
The bike’s powers vary, but Gregory says the bikes can allow folks to go quickly through a community with very little physical effort. There are also cargo bikes he says are set up to haul things like groceries or a second passenger.
“Absolutely. I’ve done it myself. I’ve ridden my bike with my kids to get from point A to point B,” Gregory said. “This bike can hold more than 400 lbs of cargo.”
The Peachtree Bikes co-partner says an entry-level e-bike often can cost around $2,000.
“The one limiting factor has always been the cost of bikes,” he said.
The approved plan will set aside $1 million to establish the e-bike rebate program. According to a press release by ARC (who will administer the funds), the program reserves 75% of rebates for income-eligible individuals earning at or below 80% of the Atlanta region’s median household income, or about $54,000 a year.
Income-qualified residents are eligible to receive a $1,500 rebate for a standard e-bike and $2,000 for a cargo e-bike. Rebates for other residents are $500 for a standard e-bike and $1,000 for a cargo e-bike.
Rebates are expected to be available starting in spring 2024.
Applicants must be City of Atlanta residents aged 18 and older. Rebates will be issued every quarter and may be redeemed at participating retailers located in the City of Atlanta.
“The rebate is one piece of this discussion. The other is our continued work on infrastructure,” Westmoreland said.
The city councilman pointed to a 2022 bond putting $750 million towards improving the city’s infrastructure. Some of those projects included putting in bike lanes. However, he says more needs to be done.
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