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Michigan lawmakers propose bill to provide discount vouchers for electric bikes purchases

Electric Bike
The average price of an e-bike can run around two thousand dollars.

The Michigan legislature is considering a bill that could reduce the price of electric bicycles for those with limited incomes. The bill’s sponsors want to increase those residents’ access to reliable means of transportation.

An electric bike is a bicycle equipped with a rechargeable electric motor to make pedaling easier. The average price of an e-bike can run around two thousand dollars.

Now, a recently introduced bill could cover part of those costs by offering discount vouchers to buyers. Democrat Michigan State Representative Julie Rogers, a sponsor of the bill, says those with greater need would receive higher discounts.

“So [a] $500 dollar voucher, or 90% of the retail price of a purchase of an e-bike or whichever is less,” she said. “But if you are low-income and already qualify for SNAP benefits, the voucher would be a larger amount $1,250 dollars.”

The Michigan House Transportation Budget has allocated $5 million dollars to fund bike and pedestrian infrastructure in Michigan cities.

Matt Penniman, the advocacy director for the League of Michigan Bicyclists, says the bike’s ease of use make them a more reliable form of transportation for those without access to a vehicle or dependable public transit.

“We're hoping that this incentive will make the difference for folks in being able to afford a high quality, durable e-bike that will serve their needs and last them a long time,” he said.

The bill has been referred to the House committee on tax policy. Pending approval, it would head to the full Michigan House for a vote.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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