Denver is limiting its second round of e-bike rebates to income-qualified applications after running through most of the 2,000 vouchers it started with in a few hours on Monday.
The crush of applications effectively shut down the city computer system used to accept them, leaving frustrated people waiting in some cases for almost two hours for verification codes needed to finish the application process. Denver will honor applications that users could not finish.
The e-bike rebate program, intended to encourage people to find environmentally friendly alternatives to driving in gas-fueled cars, offers up to $1,200 in assistance for people meeting maximum-income requirements. There also are $400 general assistance vouchers available from the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resilience. More assistance is available for those who want to trade their trips in cars for rides on cargo bikes, which can carry hundreds of pounds of cargo or transport kids.
People who receive the vouchers have 60 days to use them at 17 participating bike shops in Denver. The battery-backed e-bikes made pedaling easier on riders, and are part of a larger effort to reduce the impact of air pollution on the residents and city.
The rebate program has been wildly popular. The first round rebates also ran out quickly, with 3,200 applications maxing out in just three weeks.
State legislators recently passed the Senate Bill 193 to provide $12 million in funds for statewide e-bike rebates, which will be available to residents beyond Denver. The e-bike assistance program is part of a host of measures intended to reduce air pollution, including providing millions toward electrifying school buses.
Applications will open again for Denver rebates on Aug. 1. Other rounds will continue on Sept. 6, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5.