E-Bikes for Essentials Program

Application Period for 2023 is now closed. Congratulations to this year’s recipients! 

Town of Vail Partnering with QuietKat to Distribute Electric Bikes to Essential Workers in Vail

Interested in owning an electric bike and reducing your  carbon footprint? Town of Vail is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle miles traveled and ease commuting for income qualified essential workers in Vail with distribution of free electric bikes. The E-Bikes for Essentials program is a partnership between Town of Vail, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and QuietKat, an electric bike manufacturer based in Eagle County. Modeled off the Can Do Colorado eBike Pilot Program developed by the Colorado Energy Office in 2020, this program is designed to demonstrate that e-bikes are a safe, healthy and convenient way to take essential trips around town. Selected program participants will receive a QuietKat Villager electric bike and accessories including a helmet, pump, lock and pannier commuting bags at no cost.

Why e-Bikes?

In Eagle County, transportation has been identified as the single greatest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and therefore presents the greatest opportunity for improvement. The Climate Action Collaborative has identified that if Eagle County residents employ smart commuting options twice per week, transportation GHG emissions will be reduced by 17%. Smart commuting includes working remotely, carpooling, taking the bus and human powered forms of commuting such as biking and walking. Results from the 2020 Climate Action Collaborative commuter survey showed that owning an electric bike was the most popular option to alternative commuting options. However, not everyone has an e-bike and cost is often a barrier to entry.

E-bikes can supplement existing public transit systems, ease parking and traffic congestion, reduce carbon and encourage a healthy lifestyle. E-bikes serve residents for short commutes while running errands, commuting to work or attending social events rather than driving personal vehicles. 

E-Bikes for Essentials: Program Details

The Town of Vail is launching the E-Bikes for Essentials program to provide a pathway towards e-bike ownership for income qualified, essential workers living in Vail. This project will assist those in the community who would benefit most from having additional viable transportation options while cultivating a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Criteria to be considered include:

  • Must be a Vail resident or Town of Vail employee
  • Must be employed as a full-time essential worker (employed in critical businesses as defined on pages 6-12 in the State of Colorado Public Health Order)
  • Must be income-qualified, making 80% or less of Area Median Income for Eagle County, which is currently $62,640 or less annually
  • Must commit to program requirements

Program Requirements

If selected as a participant in the program, participants will be required to commute to work, run errands and attend social events via e-bike as often as possible and at least two times per week rather than driving a personal vehicle or taking the bus during non-snow months for a minimum of two years. In addition, you must use the OpenPATH app developed by NREL and Colorado Energy Office to track all trips made and modes of travel and participate in the Sole Power Green Commuting Challenge. Selected program participants cannot sell the e-bike and must return the e-bike and equipment to the Town of Vail if they decide the program is not for them.

To Apply

If interested in being considered as a program participant, fill out the below participant agreement and application when the 2024 application period is announced. The application should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Final selection of program participants will take place, with all applicants notified of whether they have been accepted into the E-Bikes for Essentials program no later than three weeks after the application deadline closes.  A mandatory program orientation will be held at a time and date that works best for selected participants, which is when e-bikes and gear will be distributed. 

E-Bikes for Essentials Application and Participant Agreement

The application works best if filled out from the following browsers: Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox. If you experience challenges filling out the application via Safari, iPhone or any other platform contact Beth Markham for assistance. If your browser does not support the document upload or submit features, download the application and email it with the income verification document to bmarkham@vailgov.com. 

Please reach out to Beth Markham, environmental sustainability manager for Town of Vail, at bmarkham@vailgov.com or 970-479-2333 with any questions about the program, application or timeline.