Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington Electric Department (BED) today launched innovative partnerships with CarShare Vermont and Greenride Bikeshare designed to encourage the Burlington community to join the transportation revolution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through pairing of vehicle and bicycle options. Through these new partnerships, BED customers who purchase an electric vehicle (EV) with a BED incentive are eligible to receive a free Greenride Bikeshare membership. Similarly, BED customers who purchase a new electric bike (E-bike) using a BED E-bike rebate are eligible to receive a free membership in CarShare Vermont’s “Share-a-Little” plan or financial support to offset the cost of membership in CarShare Vermont’s “Share-a-Lot” plan. These new partnerships will serve as important steps toward Burlington’s goal of becoming a “net zero energy city” across electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors and will offer BED customers a broader array of transportation options.
The idea behind these partnerships was created through an exciting, new internal Burlington Electric program, called the BED Innovation Cup, held this past winter. The purpose of the now-annual BED Innovation Cup is to spark teamwork and engagement of BED employees – even beyond the everyday innovation expected from the BED team – in a fun and meaningful way that produces actionable ideas to bolster safety, achieve our net zero vision, and strengthen productivity at McNeil. (Attached photo includes 2018 BED Innovation Cup winning team of (from left to right) Jessica Walker, Customer Care Representative; Jennifer Green, Sustainability Officer; Val DeBrita, Administrator of Center for Innovation; Patrick Campbell, Customer Care Representative.)
“These innovative, new programs not only will help us transition to net zero energy in the transportation sector, but also will further help our customers meet their unique transportation needs, whether commuting, recreating, or running errands around town” stated Neale Lunderville, Burlington Electric Department General Manager. “We’re very fortunate to partner with leading transportation nonprofits like CarShare Vermont and Greenride Bikeshare. I’m proud that these program ideas were sparked through our Innovation Cup by the smart, creative members of our BED team.”
BED first launched its EV incentive program during spring 2017 with rebates of $600 for plug-in hybrids and $1,200 for all-electric vehicles and, in fall 2017, BED increased to $1,800 the EV rebate available to low- and moderate-income customers. During winter 2018, BED partnered with local credit unions – VSECU, Green Mountain Credit Union, and Vermont Federal Credit Union – to make EV purchases more attainable through offering low- and, under certain circumstances, no-interest loans. Finally, in May 2018, BED launched its E-bike rebate program in partnership with Local Motion, offering $200 off the purchase of an E-bike or a bicycle conversion kit, as well as establishing a test-ride program allowing potential E-bike customers to borrow E-bikes prior to purchasing.
Greenride Bikeshare provides EV purchasers an annual membership to the bikeshare system, valued at $50. Annual members have 60 minutes of free ride time each day on one of Greenride’s 105 bikes found at 17 hubs throughout Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski.
”Greenride Bikeshare, Burlington’s first bike share program, is thrilled to work with BED on this exciting new program,” said Christine Hill, Greenride Bikeshare General Manager. “This unique innovation – combining EV growth with increased bike sharing – is an impactful way to broaden our collective efforts to make Burlington a great place to live, work, and play.”
CarShare Vermont’s “Share-a-Little” membership plan, valued at $50 per year, is ideal for infrequent use, with driving rates at $8.00 per hour plus mileage. For individuals or households needing a vehicle on a regular basis, the “Share-a-Lot” plan, valued at $150 per year, is more economical, with driving rates at $6.00 per hour plus mileage. Rates always include gas and insurance.
“We’re excited to partner with BED on this special program and are confident that, by combining E-bikes with carsharing, we’ll be able to transition more Burlingtonians out of their vehicles,” stated Annie Bourdon, Executive Director of CarShare Vermont.
For more information about these programs, or Burlington Electric, CarShare Vermont, or Greenride Bikeshare generally, please visit www.burlingtonelectric.com,www.carsharevt.org, or www.greenridebikeshare.com.