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Bike commuters could see dividends

Placer pedalers eligible to receive rebates
By: Lauren Weber, The Press-Tribune
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Daryl Van Druff has been riding his bike to work since October. He works as a senior fire inspector with the fire prevention division in Roseville and hopes to make his bicycle commuting to work year-round. Like Van Druff, other Placer County bike commuters are eligible to receive money toward a new commuter bike through an incentive program called Bucks for Bikes. With Bucks for Bikes, riders have the opportunity to receive up to $200 toward a new commuter bike, if all the conditions are met “ the most important criteria being that you ride your bike to work regularly. Pedaling to work saves money on gas and it's a great way to start the day, Van Druff said. Solvi Sabol with the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency said that she is surprised at how many people use bikes to get to work. It is definitely considered an alternative mode of transportation, Sabol said. David Kulaga, a manager at The Hub bike shop in Roseville, said many of the customers and employees are bicycle commuters. I think it's a great program, he said. I myself commute to work. The only drawback Kulaga sees to the program is that a lot of commuters already have bikes. But he praises the idea of riding to work. You provide the fuel and it's a good workout, he said. Bucks for Bikes was first introduced to the county in 2001 and this year is made possible through a Clean Air grant from the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, the city of Roseville and PCTPA. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, work more than 20 hours a week, live and work within Placer County and be serious about using bicycling as their work transportation, Sabol said. Funding is limited and not everyone who applies will be awarded the subsidy. We look at the merit of the application and how they plan to make commuting by bike work for them, she said. The deadline to apply for Bucks for Bikes is 5 p.m. March 28, and those interested must also include a quote from a bike store for a new bicycle. It can also include safety accessories such as a light, basket, or bags, Sabol said. The committee reviews each application and the selected bike commuters will be notified by April 14. If accepted, bikers purchase a bike and send in the original receipt no later than April 28 and the subsidy check will be mailed upon receiving the receipt. For the month of May, in conjunction with Bike Month, residents who receive the money must log their miles on www.MayIsBikeMonth.com. The program is designed to decrease traffic and improve air quality within the county by encouraging biking to work. Programs similar to Bucks for Bikes have been implemented in other regions as well, and it have been successful in Placer County before, Sabol said. Bucks for Bikes For more information go to www.pctpa.org Or call (530) 832-4029