HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - Residents and state legislators test-rode electric bikes around the State Capitol lawn Wednesday as organizations and local shops advocated for the sustainable mode of transportation and the Clean Air Act.
Dozens of vendors and biking enthusiasts lined up outside the Capitol building for E-Bike Day, educating folks about how e-bikes can significantly cut down emissions and gas costs.
Janelle Boratko, Assistant Manager at Suburban Sports in Berlin, said people would eliminate a lot more car emissions than they realize if they used e-bikes regularly for shorter travel.
"I think about a small town, if I'm just going downtown, I use my car, but if you have an e-bike that can get you going up to 20 mph, that's like a car in those kinds of areas. No speed limit really goes above that, so I think it's a great opportunity to cut down on fossil fuel usage, especially with cars," Boratko said.
There are also all sorts of e-bikes available, Boratko said, ranging from mountain bikes for those hitting the trails to commuter bikes for those who live in the inner city.
Many local leaders and state legislators visited the event to advocate for the Connecticut Clean Air Act which is currently going through the State Senate.
The Clean Air bill would expand public and private use of electric vehicles. For example, it would implement a program that would offer $500 vouchers for lower income residents to help them buy an e-bike.
"We really think [the vouchers] would help people in Hartford because many of them don't have access to a car and sometimes transportation is not that effective for their needs," Coordinator Thomas Regan-Lefebvre with the advocacy program Hartford Transport Academy said.
Lefebvre said he is feeling hopeful that the Clean Air Act will pass given the strong support it is receiving in the Senate.