DC to offer some residents up to $2,000 to buy an e-bike

Some D.C. residents will soon be able to apply to a new program aimed at helping more of them afford the purchase of an e-bike.

The District E-Bike Incentive Program is designed to help D.C. residents — especially those with low incomes — buy an e-bike using a voucher worth as much as $2,000, according to the D.C. Department of Transportation.

The first window for applications is only open to what DDOT called “Preferred Applicants,” from April 1 through April 15.

‘Preferred applicants’ are D.C. residents over 18 years old “enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or the DC Healthcare Alliance,” according to DDOT.

They can apply for vouchers of up to $2,000 toward “an e-bike, cargo bike, e-bike maintenance, or other qualified accessories to be redeemed at select authorized bike retailers.”

“Our goal is to encourage e-bike usage by making them more affordable for District residents. Not only can this provide a viable option for transportation and assist with traffic congestion and air quality … it can also provide an opportunity for those that might otherwise not have the means,” said Sharon Kershbaum, interim director of DDOT.

DDOT said voucher recipients will be selected at random once the application window closes, “purchases must be pre-approved” and “only approved applicants will receive a voucher.”

Ward 6 council member Charles Allen, who introduced legislation creating D.C.’s E-Bike incentive program, said the vehicles are an “inexpensive, fast, and enjoyable way to get around the District” through a program that puts “equity front and center.”

“I predict we’re going to see far more demand than we can meet, and that’s a good thing. It shows our city’s leaders there’s a strong desire for people to have this as an option alongside Metro and bus, walking, rolling, and driving,” Allen said in a statement.

If the $500,000 in funds for the program are not all spent on first-round recipients, DDOT said a second window will open to all residents.

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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