The Equitable Commute Project is a coalition of seven NYC organizations working to expand economic access through sustainable micromobility. While New York City has a comprehensive public transit network, more than a quarter of a million New Yorkers live in areas underserved by transit and face long, complex commutes, creating barriers to employment and harming overall wellbeing. Electric bicycles (ebikes) have surged globally as a vital sustainable transportation options for trips less than ten miles, are outselling electric cars almost 2:1, and have done more to reduce carbon emissions than electric cars, buses, and trucks combined.
In August, 2023, ECP introduced the Sustainable, Affordable, Fire-Safe E-Bike (SAFE) Program to support equitable access to fire-safe, high-quality e-bikes. Delivery workers in NYC have heavily adopted ebikes to support their jobs, but also face safety challenges with lower priced equipment options. In order to meet the city’s fire safety standards, Mayor Adams signed Local law 39 requiring all new ebikes sold in NYC to be UL-2849 certified beginning September 16th, 2023. But with a price tag that is 2-3 times more than non-UL certified ebikes, high quality, UL certified ebikes are out of reach for many New Yorkers.
Under the SAFE Program, NYC-based delivery workers can apply to trade-in their non-compliant e-bike or moped in exchange for heavily discounted pricing on UL-2849 certified e-bikes with two batteries. A low-cost, 12-month loan is also available to delivery workers from ECP-coalition member Spring Bank to approved participants, regardless of credit score.