Washington Park Biker (copy)

A hot morning sun shines down on a bike rider in Denver's Washington Park on Wednesday, July 19, 2006. For all its outdoor splendor and fit residents, the quality of Colorado's air this summer is hazy. Ozone levels along the heavily populated Front Range have been at extremes this summer. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

The Colorado Energy Office and Bicycle Colorado announced a pilot program Monday that is providing free electric bikes for low-income essential workers to assist with Denver transportation.

The “Can Do Colorado” pilot program aims to support essential workers' access to jobs, the announcement said.

"(E-bikes) provide affordable, low emission, healthy transportation," said Will Toor, executive director of CEO. "The state is excited to be able to help expand access to e-bikes for low-income essential workers."

Thirteen e-bikes have been distributed to the program’s first participants. Participants received helmets, lights, locks, informational materials and the CanBikeCO trip/emission tracking app.

Participants also got one-on-one e-bike training and educational sessions on riding laws from Bicycle Colorado and Northeast Transportation Connections.

The pilot program is preparing for a larger state-wide version in 2021.

“With the Can Do Colorado e-bike program, the state is making a statement that 'electric vehicles' means more than just cars, and putting that into action while supporting low-income, essential worker Coloradans,” said Jack Todd, Bicycle Colorado director of communications.

The e-bike pilot program is part of the Can Do Colorado Community Challenge state initiative announced by Gov. Jared Polis in June.

Can Do Colorado provides state resources to help reopen the economy safely while making progress towards goals like supporting telecommuting, expanding the use of e-bikes and making streets accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and retail/restaurant uses.

The e-bikes are class one, meaning they are pedal-assist with no throttle and have a maximum speed of 20 mph.

The 13 e-bikes were ordered, built and distributed by SloHi Bikes on Colfax Avenue.

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