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An organization that distributes e-bikes to low-income people can expand into Encinitas, the City Council decided Wednesday, Sept. 28.

“I think this is a fantastic program,” Councilmember Tony Kranz said before the vote. “Mobility is one of the most important parts of getting ahead in life.”

Councilmember Joy Lyndes said the nonprofit running the program — Pedal Ahead — had a fine reputation and the bike distribution program was “a good fit” for Encinitas, while Councilmember Joe Mosca said the soaring cost of gasoline will make this very attractive to low-income people, who are the hardest hit by the recent fuel price increases.

Plans call for Pedal Ahead to distribute 15 to 25 e-bikes to “qualified” Encinitas residents — an annual income of less than $49,000 is expected to be part of the selection criteria. In addition to providing the bikes and picking the successful applicants, Pedal Ahead will offer safety trainings and other services in Encinitas, a city staff report states.

“Pedal Ahead’s mission is to create new lifestyles through socially conscious transportation,” the report states. “Pedal Ahead provides e-bikes to enhance quality of life opportunities for participants who would normally not have the financial means nor exposure to alternative transportation benefits.”

For its part, Encinitas will provide publicity about the program and invite Pedal Ahead representatives to city transportation meetings and events, under the terms of the newly approved memorandum. The council voted 3-0, with Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Councilmember Kellie Hinze absent, to approve the memorandum.

There will be no cost to the city to participate, the city staff report states.

Established by San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the Rider Safety Visibility organization in 2020, Pedal Ahead has distributed hundred of e-bikes in San Diego County and it’s about to expand to other parts of California. The state’s Air Resources Board has recently selected the organization to handle a statewide e-bike program and that program “is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023,” the state board notes on its website.

Read the full article here.