Bicycle rebate will be 'in place a long time,' says minister

E-bikes look like regular bikes, but add an electric motor and a battery pack. (Shutterstock/moreimages - image credit)
E-bikes look like regular bikes, but add an electric motor and a battery pack. (Shutterstock/moreimages - image credit)

Prince Edward Islanders don't need to worry about a newly-announced rebate on bicycle purchases running out before they can get the bike they want, says Climate Change Minister Steven Myers.

The $100 rebate was announced in the provincial budget, and Myers told Island Morning Monday there would also be a $500 rebate on e-bikes. There is a catch, however. Retailers say their stock is low and they are not expecting much improvement this year.

But Myers said the rebates will still be there when the supply improves.

"We're going to keep this in place for a long time," he said.

"We have made long-term infrastructure investments into cycling."

Those investments have included new trails and the widening of highways, adding paved shoulders to improve safety, he said.

An attractive option

Jordan Bober, executive director of Cycling P.E.I., said he was pleased to hear the rebate program will include e-bikes.

E-bikes, he said, are an attractive option for people looking at commutes that they might consider too difficult to do with a regular bike.

"They look just like a regular bicycle usually, but they have an electric motor and that can kick in when you're going uphill or if you need a little bit of speed as you're going down the road," said Bober.

While the supply of e-bikes is short, he said there are some conversion kits available for people who might want to upgrade their regular bike.

Myers said he has tried out the e-bikes, and he agrees they can be a good option for commuters.

"For a guy like me, who probably needs to do more biking and hasn't done much yet, it's nice to have that little bit of backup," he said.

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

"It certainly, from where I live, it gives me an opportunity to cycle somewheres at a further destination."

Myers said the cycling infrastructure the province has been building serves a double purpose: providing Islanders with safe routes for active transportation and making the province more attractive as a cycling destination.

The details of the rebate program are still being worked out, he said.