As Minnesota prepares for an accredited rebate program beginning subsequent yr, curiosity in e-bikes continues to extend.
The rebate program, which was included within the state legislature’s omnibus transportation invoice in Might, would permit a rebate of as much as $1,500 for Minnesotans trying to buy an electric-assisted bicycle. The invoice allotted $2 million for this system, which can open to purposes July 1, 2024.
There are just a few necessities to be eligible for the rebate: people should be over 15 years previous, be a taxpayer and never be claimed as a depending on another person’s taxes.
Moreover, whether or not somebody can declare the total refund is determined by their revenue. These making under $25,000 yearly – or $50,000 for a married taxpayer with a joint tax return – will have the ability to declare the total $1,500. These incomes above that threshold will likely be eligible for much less relying on their revenue.
This system doesn’t apply to previous purchases of e-bikes.
“Farther, quicker, with much less effort”
“It modifications how you intend your day,” stated John McConaghay, a employee at The Hub Bicycle Co-op. “You possibly can cruise all the best way throughout city from St. Paul to downtown [Minneapolis] and nonetheless really feel contemporary while you get there. You possibly can decide up tons of groceries or one thing on the facet of the highway.”
The Hub has two areas, one among which is located in the course of the College of Minnesota campus below the Oak Avenue parking storage.
Whereas the College location is the smaller of The Hub’s two areas and primarily focuses on repairs, the store carries a small stock of bikes and presents a ten% low cost to college students, employees and school.
McConaghay stated he has seen a rise in curiosity in e-bikes from individuals who have heard concerning the rebate at The Hub’s shops. Nonetheless, he added that the main points are nonetheless gentle on how their retailer can change into an eligible retailer to simply accept the rebate.
The Hub carries about eight e-bike fashions, ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000. McConaghay added one of many greatest attracts for potential e-bike patrons is their accessibility.
“It places extra journeys inside attain of the typical rider,” McConaghay stated. “It permits you to go farther, quicker, with much less effort, carry extra and really feel higher after the trip.”
Constructing for bikes
Greg Lindsey, a Humphrey Faculty professor whose analysis focuses on bicycle infrastructure, stated e-bikes are a welcome growth in getting extra folks to journey in lively and sustainable methods.
Nonetheless, Lindsey added e-bikes’ capacity to interchange automobiles is likely to be restricted by components like climate.
“If you happen to take a look at patterns of bicycle utilization, significantly within the Twin Cities year-round, there’s large seasonality,” Lindsey stated. “Nothing about an e-bike itself goes to alter folks’s preferences for bicycling when it’s zero levels.”
Lindsey additionally identified that within the winter, bike lanes typically go unmaintained or get lined by snow when plows are clearing lanes for automobile site visitors.
“From a planning perspective, we’d like to consider infrastructure modifications to help them,” Lindsey stated. “That may vary from charging services to redesigns of bikeways and roadways. We want to consider site visitors security.”
There are some unanswered questions on mixing site visitors of electrical bicycles, not solely with pedestrians but in addition with regular bicycles, in keeping with Lindsey.
He added the elevated velocity and weight of e-bikes convey extra danger for damage. Because of this, planners have to contemplate whether or not e-bikes ought to use mixed-use trails or be given separated infrastructure.
Lindsey pointed to Southeast Oak Avenue for example of separated bicycle infrastructure. The stretch between Washington Avenue and East River Parkway has a two-way bike lane separated from car site visitors by segments of quick concrete obstacles and plastic bollards.
Maximizing security for cyclists is the easiest way for planners to extend using bicycles, in keeping with Lindsey.
“Which means, ‘How will we carve out an area on present roadways for cycles?” Lindsey stated. “As a result of most of them had been constructed with out that in thoughts.”