news Car Sharing Program Expands to Include Bicycle Options
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) agreed at its recent meeting to fund bikesharing as part of its “Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project” for disadvantaged communities. Launched last year, this pilot program supports car sharing and transit passes, and is hosted under CARB’s Low Carbon Transportation Investments projects and funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds.
California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike), MCBC and other cycling advocacy groups have been advocating for bikeshare to be included in this type of pilot program for over a year. This addition is an exciting victory, especially to partners in the bikeshare industry and the electric bike industry, which the CARB is particularly interested in having participate in this program.
“We applaud the CARB for showing leadership by expanding the scope and funding of this pilot program to include bikesharing, and appreciate the innovative twist of adding electric bikesharing. The state has long neglected the role that bicycling can play in reducing greenhouse gases. This shows they’re starting to pay attention.” said Dave Snyder, the Executive Director of CalBike. “We’re looking forward to CARB hosting more progressive programs, like our proposed bike purchase incentive program, to really make bicycling mainstream in California.”
“We’re really pleased electric bikes are included as part of this newly extended project. We look forward to ebikes becoming a part of a robust bike purchase incentive program as this project evolves further.” Said Larry Pizzi, V.P. of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and Chair of the Electric Bike Committee.
Both government agencies and nonprofits in California will be eligible to apply for the program during the next round of applications when it officially launches this fall. It provides a great opportunity for cities to create smaller, less complicated, and more flexible bikeshare programs targeted specifically to benefit disadvantaged communities, something that is often lacking in many current bikeshare programs.
Vish Palekar, CEO of Mahindra GenZe of Silicon Valley, a leading manufacturer of both electric scooters and bicycles, and supporter of vehicle collaboration programs in California is delighted about the newly expanded program as well:
“We’re excited about CARB’s decision to increase funding of its Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Program. This program fits perfectly with GenZe’s vision for urban mobility. We’re especially keen on democratizing electric bikes as a way of promoting sustainable transportation.”