Routt County Riders receive $129K grant for e-bike program
This spring low-income residents in both Moffat and Routt County will have access to a new e-bike distribution program through a local organization that advocates for cyclists of all kinds in Northwest Colorado.
The Routt County Riders, a cycling-focused nonprofit based in Steamboat Springs, will be rolling out an e-bike distribution program for Yampa Valley residents. Once the program launches, low-income community members can apply through referring agencies or nonprofits to receive a free or very low-cost e-bike and accessory kit.
Local human service agencies including Integrated Community, Lift Up of Routt County, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and the Department of Human Services in both Moffat and Routt County, will be doing outreach to their clients and beneficiaries about the program and will be vetting applications.
Participants will be selected based on various criteria, including verified household income to be less than 80% of the area median, which is less than $57,300 for a single person in Routt County and less than $46,050 for a single person in Moffat County. The application process will also require proof of local employment and show that it would be feasible for the participant to use the e-bike for ongoing commuter purposes.
“We strongly support this program and its focus to create transportation solutions for low-income citizens and newcomers in our community,” says Nelly Navarro, the executive director of Integrated Community. “(Routt County Riders) aligns with our mission by providing access to community members that oftentimes face the most inequities while encouraging physical and mental well-being and integration.”
Routt County Rider’s existing Bike Match program provides the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the $129,000 Colorado Energy Office e-bike grant, which will be supporting the program. Funding for the program is being provided through a state bill that was passed in 2022 to help provide access or rebates for Colorado residents to e-bikes.
This program will help advance two shared objectives for both the local community and the Colorado Energy Office. The first aims to support transportation justice and increase transportation options for low-income residents in the Yampa Valley. The second is to encourage e-bikes as a choice of transportation, to reduce car trips in the area and help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Routt County Riders will work with local e-bike supplier, Pedego, which is located in downtown Steamboat Springs, to fulfill bike requests for eligible individuals.
There are many benefits of working with a local e-bike supplier instead of the large direct-to-consumer companies with no local presence,” says Matthew Rochon, Routt County Rider’s community outreach program manager. “Pedego is a reputable e-bike supplier with an established supply chain that is able to procure and provide maintenance for the 40 bikes we requested in advance, and at a discounted rate.”
Anyone interested in participating should look for communication from referring agencies in the near future. For more information on Routt County Riders, visit RouttCountyRiders.org.
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