Durango's E‑Bike Success

October 7, 2021

Durango's E‑bike Success

This sum­mer, six­teen front­line essen­tial work­ers who were impact­ed by the pan­dem­ic were giv­en e‑bikes to com­mute to and from work. The pilot pro­gram, called Roll to Restau­rants, was made pos­si­ble by a $50,000 grant from the Col­orado Ener­gy Office. It was man­aged by Four Cor­ners Office for Resource Effi­cien­cy (4CORE) in Duran­go, who chose to focus on indi­vid­u­als who were great­ly impact­ed in their local com­mu­ni­ty. Six­teen e‑bikes and acces­sories were giv­en to income-qual­i­fy­ing* restau­rant work­ers to increase access to e‑bikes, reduce emis­sions and show that e‑bikes can be a con­ve­nient way to replace vehi­cle trips around town. It will also help Duran­go towards its goal of reduc­ing green­house gas emis­sions by 80% by 2050 (from 2016 lev­els), with an inter­im goal of a 30% reduc­tion by 2030.

E‑bike par­tic­i­pants are able to use these bikes free of charge, with the option to enter into a loan-to-own pro­gram. The only catch? Log your rides and infor­ma­tion about each trip in an app, pro­vid­ing data on how the e‑bikes are being used, and record­ing poten­tial car­bon emis­sions sav­ings from com­mut­ing by e‑bike. The e‑bikes were deployed in waves, so some par­tic­i­pants already offi­cial­ly own their bikes, where­as oth­ers will own theirs lat­er this fall. This pro­gram will con­tin­ue into the sum­mer of 2023 and 4CORE will check in with par­tic­i­pants and offer free tune ups and main­te­nance as needed.

So far, 4CORE has had great feed­back from the par­tic­i­pants who are using their e‑bikes to trav­el all over Duran­go. They're also mak­ing it acces­si­ble, by pro­vid­ing Span­ish trans­la­tion for the pro­gram with help from Com­pañeros. For the month of August, 46% of all trips were made by e‑bikes (vs. only 19% in a car alone), 152 car trips were replaced by e‑bikes and over 400lbs of CO2 was saved.

Here's what e‑bike par­tic­i­pants have to say:

"The ebike has made com­mut­ing eas­i­er. The trip takes about the same amount of time as on my reg­u­lar bike, but I arrive relaxed and ready to work instead of sweaty and tired." — David "When I do ride it, it feels so good know­ing I am doing some­thing proac­tive to help sus­tain the envi­ron­ment longer. It’s helped replace going to work on the days that I would usu­al­ly car pool with oth­ers." — Abbey "I love love love rid­ing She-ra (her eBike) every­where I go in town!! I def­i­nite­ly pre­fer rid­ing her to dri­ving my car, so I only use my car when I’m tak­ing my dog some­where or mov­ing a bunch of stuff." — Mari­ah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D48IkWn85oY*Income-qualified indi­vid­u­als must make less than $30,864 per year, i.e., less than 60% of the Col­orado medi­an income.For more infor­ma­tion, read:4CORE's Roll to Restau­rants Pro­gram Duran­go Her­ald news article

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