© 2024 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You Count on Us, We Count on You: Donate to WUSF to support free, accessible journalism for yourself and the community.

Tampa launches a voucher program as an incentive to purchase e-Bikes

Man talking at a podium with four people and e-Bikes in the background
Craig Kopp
/
WUSF Public Media
Vik Vhide, the director of Tampa's Mobility Department, said for cities the size of Tampa, e-Bikes are the sustainable transportation of the future.

City officials say 180 vouchers of up to $2,000 will be available for residents to purchase e-Bikes.

By the end of March, the city of Tampa plans to launch a voucher program for e-Bike purchases.

Officials say 180 vouchers will be awarded through a lottery process, and any Tampa resident can apply.

Vik Vhide, the director of Tampa's Mobility Department, said for cities the size of Tampa, e-Bikes are the sustainable transportation of the future.

"It's a great alternative. It reduces congestion, it is extremely sustainable," Vhide said. "So just this program, the battery capacity is the equivalent of one electric vehicle. So from a sustainability standpoint, this is our solution moving forward."

The average cost of a standard eBike is $1,500. Vouchers would be available for $500 for residents and $1,000 for income-qualified residents. For pricier $3,000 cargo e-Bikes, standard vouchers would be $1,000 and $2,000 for income-qualified residents.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said the program is also aimed at easing congestion along the city's roads.

"The e-Bike is a great alternative to traditional cars," Castor said in a news release. "By reducing the number of cars on the road for shorter trips like errands or commutes, we are not only helping to keep our air cleaner, but we are also promoting a healthier community.

“Each e-bike on the road means fewer people are relying on cars." 

Kevin Craft, owner of City Bike Tampa on Cass Street in downtown Tampa, said e-Bike riders use them for all sorts of reasons. But, he said, using them is the important thing.

"One of the loose terms we use is utilitarian cyclist," Craft said. "We want people to use their bike for something and, frankly, it doesn't matter to us whether it's a leisure trip or whether it's a trip to work. A trip not in a car is a trip by bike."

Anyone interested in applying for a voucher can sign up on the city's website.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.