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E-bike ownership in San Francisco given a push with $1,000 rebate

San Francisco offers rebates to encourage e-bike ownership
San Francisco offers rebates to encourage e-bike ownership 02:54

SAN FRANCISCO —The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is making a new push to electrify transportation in a clean, renewable and affordable way.

The SPUC is offering a $1,000 rebate to eligible customers towards the purchase of an electric bike at participating locations.

Graham Smithwick, a 79-year-old man who lives in San Francisco, made the switch to an e-bike two years ago.

"When I got divorced, she got the car," Smithwick said.

He said he took the opportunity as a challenge to see if he could live without a car.

"It's certainly economical and worth the learning curve," he said.

"Electrify My Ride" program eligibility is based on a customer's enrollment in their low-income discount programs through CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power, in addition to the customer's utility address in an equity priority community.

Smithwick said an e-bike makes individual, eco-friendly, transportation available to more people.

"It's a beautiful idea because anybody who can ride a bike, no matter how old or how young, this is the way to go," Smithwick said regarding accessibility.

The SFPUC partnered with six local bike stores for the rebate program, including "The Bike Connection".

Manager Nick Rawcliffe said they've had a rush of business because of the program and that making personal transportation more affordable is changing lives.

"That could be the way they get to work, that could be how they get to the doctor's office or how they take their kids to school," said Rawcliffe of ways people are using the bikes.

He said when the PUC approached the store about the partnership he didn't hesitate to join.

"This program has been one of the very few examples I can think of where a business wins, consumers win, the government has facilitated it all and the environment wins too," Rawcliffe said.

The PUC launched the program on Feb. 5, and it runs through April 20.

Participating stores

The Bike Connection

1090 Folsom St. San Francisco, CA 94103


Mike's Bikes of San Francisco

1233 Howard St. San Francisco, CA 94103


The New Wheel Electric Bikes

420 Cortland Ave. San Francisco, CA 94110


Ocean Cyclery

1935 Ocean Ave. San Francisco, CA 94127


Sports Basement Bryant Street

1590 Bryant St. San Francisco, CA 94103


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