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City of Denver offering up to $100,000 to nonprofits, small businesses for 'green mobility'

Denver green mobility
Posted at 7:45 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 23:02:42-04

DENVER — You could soon see even more electric bikes and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at nonprofits and businesses around Denver.

A new grant offered by the City of Denver will give out roughly $5 million to make deliveries, transport, and customer travel greener. The Denver Mobility Incentive Program builds upon previous grants and pilots run by the city to reduce cost barriers to more sustainable business practices.

Denver flower shop Flowers on the Vine received a free e-bike under the previous pilot program, run by the city with the Denver Streets Partnership. Flowers on the Vine uses the e-bike almost daily for local deliveries and transporting materials between its locations.

“We do a lot of deliveries. We deliver to the hospital,” said owner Tarah Anthony. “We usually will have anywhere from 10 to 15 arrangements, but they’re small so we can fit all of them on the front and on the back [of the e-bike].”

Anthony said the e-bike has been a great addition to her business because she and her employees can now complete most nearby deliveries using the e-bike. She was able to sell their vehicle and now contracts through third parties like Uber for longer distances.

On top of the fiscal benefit, Anthony said the e-bike has added an element of fun to the Flowers on the Vine workday. The decision to apply for the grant was an easy one, she said.

“I’ve always been a huge lover of bikes, and I love riding my bicycle. It’s like part of my life,” Anthony said. “And we got an email asking if we wanted to be a part of this program, and I immediately said, 'Absolutely, yes.'”

The success of the pilot program for Flowers on the Vine and others encouraged city leaders to look at expanding efforts. The newly launched Denver Mobility Incentive Program is offering up to $100,000 per applicant to either help their team or the people they serve get from place to place in a greener way. E-bikes, E.V. charging stations, and other similar projects will be considered on a rolling basis.

Mike Salisbury, the transportation energy lead with Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Resiliency, and Sustainability, said that mobility efforts are key to the city’s environmental objectives. Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gases in the city.

“We’re looking for ways how we could, as a city, support organizations that are trying to take the right steps in improving transportation in the city,” Salisbury explained. “An electric bike, for example, has about one percent of the greenhouse gas emissions of a vehicle. So, every trip that we can get someone to take with an electric bike is going to have a huge impact on transportation emissions.”

Salisbury said the city is choosing to prioritize local nonprofits to start. Applications are being accepted on the city’s website.

Anthony and her employees are excited to share the roads and bike lanes with more e-bikes in the years ahead.

“Going places without struggle, and it’s a good workout at the same point. I mean, like, who doesn’t want to have a lot of cardio and get paid for it?” Anthony laughed. “My employees are okay with that.”

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