Pedal Power—With a Little Help

Is it a symbolic gesture or the humble beginning of a two-wheeled revolution? The Regional Transportation Commission recently launched an electronic-bike program for downtown’s government workers, creating a green alternative for short trips to and from meetings in the urban core.

A $150,000 grant from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program paid for the initiative—$110,000 for 22 bikes, education and training; and $40,000 for lockers and related expenses. Five bikes went to the Southern Nevada Water District and Las Vegas Valley Water District; five to the city of Las Vegas; and two to the Clark County Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management. The RTC is working with other governmental entities to distribute more of the battery-powered bikes.

“You can have the bike help you as much or as little as you like on the ride,” says Tracy Bower, director of government affairs for the RTC. “Even as the weather warms up, if you’re going just around the block, this would be as convenient as getting into a car and driving.”

The e-bikes allow workers to forego using a pool car or their personal vehicle, and perhaps amplify a message that biking remains a sensible mode of transportation for short commutes and errands.