Worcester MassBike program provides free e-bikes to low-income residents

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – A government-funded scheme could be a great opportunity for Worcester residents looking to get out on the bike paths this summer.

the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition says funds from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center are spearheading the Worcester E-Bike program, something that aims to provide low-income city residents with one hundred free e-bikes. The bikes will be distributed through MassCEC’s Accelerating Clean Transportation for All (ACT4All) program.

The program, state officials said, will run for two years and distribute the bikes to track how well Worcester participants use them. In addition to receiving the wheels, participants will be trained in cycling safety through cycling and maintenance courses and encouraged to participate in community riding events. The City says cyclists registered in the program will be able to keep their bikes even after the two-year period ends.

MassBike officials say they will lead a team that includes the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, community organizations and the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) to distribute the bikes.

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WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe visited Landry’s Bicycles, one of the retailers that will supply the e-bikes under the program. the bike shop said the e-bikes are pedal-assisted, great for off-road excursions, powerful enough to carry riders up hills, and widely accessible.

CMRPC assistant planner Faye Rhault said she will track bike usage to get a better idea of ​​resource allocation.

“To understand the positive effects on reducing climate emissions, but also to understand where there are high traffic areas with bicycles from low-income residents and high priority destinations, for future bicycle accommodations,” said Rhault.

MassBike said the program will begin accepting applications in April, select participants in May and distribute e-bikes in June.

WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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