Equitable Commute Project Celebrates 100th e-Bike Trade-In

Published on April 04, 2024, 6:33 pm
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The Equitable Commute Project (ECP), a coalition of seven NYC organizations working to expand economic access through sustainable micromobility, today celebrated its 100th e-bike exchange during a trade-in & networking luncheon at GoGo Gone Bike Shop in Manhattan. The trade-ins are part of ECP’s Sustainable, Affordable, Fire-safe E-bike (SAFE) Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative that gives eligible NYC-based delivery workers access to heavily discounted UL-2849 certified e-bikes, in exchange for their non-compliant e-bike or e-moped.

The initiative was launched in response to a spate of battery fires across New York. In 2023, more than 250 micromobility battery fires occurred, 150 people were injured, and 18 people died. Many of these fires are caused by uncertified, faulty lithium-ion batteries; supporting workers in their efforts to upgrade to certified batteries is essential to stopping the fires.

“E-bikes are an equitable and climate-friendly mobility option worth investing in,” said Melinda Hanson, co-founder of the Equitable Commute Project. “While a new policy now requires all e-bikes sold in New York City to be UL-2849 certified, the ECP SAFE program addresses the hazardous micro-mobility vehicles already on our streets. And it is working: delivery workers are eager to exchange their bikes for discounted, fire-safe models. We hope to continue partnering with the city, delivery apps, and chain restaurants until we reach all 60,000+ workers that fuel NYC’s delivery economy.”

More than 40 delivery workers attended the event to learn about the SAFE program and trade in their own vehicles, bringing the total number of SAFE participants to 102. Leaders from ECP, Los Delivery Boys, Uber, and DoorDash, as well as community partners and city officials, attended the event in support of the program. MyBatteryRecyclers was also on-site to teach attendees about safely handling hazardous lithium-ion batteries.

“Workers have been buying the e-bikes that are available, not knowing they were unsafe,” said Sergio Solano Marcos, activist and representative of Los Delivery Boys. “This necessary program supports hardworking delivery workers to upgrade their e-bikes to fire-safe models, so they can keep earning and keep their families safe. We call on NYC agencies, delivery apps, and restaurants to invest more to scale this program and ensure all deliveries are reliable and safe. We also call on city leaders to provide added protection and NYPD details to protect delivery workers who have increasingly become the targets of violence and robberies”

ECP’s SAFE Program was introduced in September 2023 upon the passage of NYC’s Local Law 39, which requires all new e-bikes sold in the city to meet UL-2849 fire safety standards. While the law intends to get hazardous vehicles off of NYC’s streets, it imposes a significant financial burden on lower-income New Yorkers who may struggle to afford a fire-safe bike. ECP’s SAFE Program has demonstrated the need and opportunity for affordable trade-in options when community & industry partners come together to support a more equitable mobility ecosystem. The program also offers a low-cost, 12-month loan to eligible delivery workers through ECP-coalition member Spring Bank, regardless of credit score or citizenship status.

ECP will continue to host monthly e-bike trade-in events while supplies last. Delivery workers must be approved for the exchange in advance; interested participants are encouraged to apply here.

“This milestone is a testament to our combined efforts and investments to ensure that e-bikes are a safe, sustainable part of our city’s future,” said Kassandra Perez-Desir, Head of Government Relations for New York at DoorDash. “We understand the importance of ensuring that safe e-bikes remain accessible to everyone who uses them, and battery safety is a critical part of that. We will continue to focus on collaborative efforts like these to find more ways to strengthen e-bike safety standards and best support delivery workers.”

Uber is proud to partner with the Equitable Commute Project and support its efforts to get unsafe bikes and batteries off the streets of New York while increasing access and affordability for UL-certified equipment for delivery workers,” said Hayley Prim, Senior Policy Manager at Uber.  “This program and others like it have already seen success, and we look forward to continuing our support which furthers our shared goal of increasing safety for our communities. “


About The Equitable Commute Project (ECP)

The ECP is a coalition of seven NYC organizations (Barretto Bay Strategies, Brightside, Empire Clean Cities,HOPE Program, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, Spring Bank, and Transportation Alternatives)  working to expand economic opportunity through sustainable micromobility. The Sustainable, Affordable, Fire-Safe E-Bike (SAFE) program provides NYC delivery workers access safe and affordable e-bikes that meet UL-2849 standards. Uber and DoorDash fund the SAFE program, and applications for the program are reviewed on a rolling basis. Selected delivery workers are offered discounted pricing on a range of UL-2849 certified e-bikes, in exchange for their uncertified e-bike or moped.

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.