E-Bike Smart Marin is one of MCBC’s newest programs. We believe we can reap the many benefits of e-bikes while mitigating some of the growing pains with this new program.
As we all know, there has been a huge rise in e-bike usage in the last few years. In fact, from 2020 to 2021 e-bike sales nearly doubled, and the same level of increase is expected for 2022 (U.S. E-bike Sales Outpaced Electric Cars in 2021 – Bloomberg). This is revolutionizing the way people get around in our county. E-bikes provide alternative transportation to cars that expand mobility of riders, emit no greenhouse gasses, and make riding the many hills of Marin accessible to a much wider range of people.
However, new vehicles on our roads and shared paths create new challenges. We have heard concerns from users of multi-use paths that some e-bike users are riding at unsafe speeds or not being respectful of others in those shared spaces.
What We’re Doing
The teen education program was developed in partnership with our Safe Routes to Schools instructors to offer a class that focuses specifically on e-bike safety and education, including bike handling and emergency maneuvers, rules of the road, and hands-on skills practice. If you would like to sign your student up for a class, please click here to register.
E-bikes offer safe, reliable, and enjoyable transportation for those who may be looking for alternative ways to get around that aren’t too hard on the body. We are currently doing outreach with older adult groups to determine how we can best serve this community.
Rides With City Staff/Elected Officials
We organize rides for elected officials, city/agency staff to offer first hand experience, helping promote the benefits and possibilities of e-bikes, and build support for connected and protected cycling infrastructure.
E-bikes should be accessible to commuters of all income levels. There are some exciting incentive programs coming up for those interested in purchasing an e-bike, particularly focused on people with lower incomes. Locally, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge E-Bike Commute Program is available to workers and students who commute across the bridge and live in qualifying zip codes. You can learn more about this program and who is eligible in our write-up, or by going directly to rsrebikecommute.org. Statewide, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is scheduled to roll out an e-bike incentives program sometime in the second quarter of 2023. You can read more about the CARB program at CalBike.
Interested in learning more or signing up for a class? Click here to sign up for E-bike Smart Marin updates.
MEMBERS MAKE IT HAPPEN
We’re working to make Marin more bike-friendly for people of all ages and abilities. Are you with us?