Barry Shell

  • commented on Electric Bike Emailer 2018-11-29 23:13:23 -0800
    Each day I am impressed with the wonderful progressive things this new NDP/Green BC government is doing. I love you guys. I just saw something about you instigating some kind of green or clean energy principles or something like that. Bravo!! So as part of that, how about removing the PST and adding some incentives for people to get electric bikes.


    I’m 67 years old and I have both a normal road bike as well as an electric bike. As I get older I find I use the electric bike more and more. I use it almost every day.


    One reason I like the electric bike is because it has this big battery which means it has big bright headlights and tail-lights which makes me feel safer on the roads, especially at night. Electric bikes are just safer because you have much more power than a normal bike. It’s the most logical and most efficient way to get around Vancouver.


    Electric bikes make hills easy to climb, yet you can still pedal all you want and get good exercise. Plus they are 100 times less massive than an electric car, which means they are 100 times cheaper, and use 100 times less electricity to run. It’s a win win.


    Please encourage people to get electric bikes. Remove the PST and even give a $500 incentive for buyers. You can’t lose.

    Electric Bike Emailer

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    Take Action: Tell the Leaders to Remove the PST and Add Rebates for E-bikes
    Let them know how more affordable electric bikes and dramatically increased investment in cycling networks will help you and others in your community get around.
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  • commented on Write BC's Leaders 2017-10-31 20:03:13 -0700
    You know the saying, “It’s a win win” situation? With cycling it’s a triple win, win, win. Why? 1. You win by saving on health care. Anyone who cycles is much more healthy than a normal person. 2. You win on transportation. Every cyclist is one more car OFF the roads. 3. You win on green, sustainability, environment. Cyclists DO NOT pollute the environment. No greenhouse gasses. Finally, for a fourth win: you get increased tourism, new economic incentives. Also, less room taken up for parking, and on and on. So maybe it’s a FIVE WIN thing. You simply cannot lose by promoting cycling.


    Oh, one more thing. It’s cheap cheap cheap. A bicycle costs literally 100 times less than a car in terms of life-cycle costs to purchase and operate over the years. Also the infrastructure for bikes is somewhere between 10 – 100 times cheaper than for cars.


    Think about it. You simply cannot lose by supporting bicycles with tax breaks, new infrastructure, advertising campaigns, incentives of all kinds.


    Thanks for reading.

    Write BC's Leaders for More Cycling Funding

    While there has been investment by all levels of government in cycling routes in communities around the Province over the last decade, often these routes are not connected to each other leaving you stranded with your bike at busy intersections. Many destinations are still not served by safe comfortable convenient cycling connections. Until people can cycle from anywhere to anywhere without worrying if there is a good bicycle route, many won’t chose to ride a bicycle and we will not realize the full economic, health, environmental and social benefits from the hundreds of millions of dollars already invested in cycling.

    Inadequate Funding for Communities

    Communities across the province have produced extensive cycling network plans. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, these cycling networks may not be complete for 20 to 30 years. For instance:

    • Surrey has recently completed a cycling plan that includes over 470 km of additional bike lanes and paths. With current funding, it plans on completing around 12km per year but has indicated that additional funding from the provincial and Federal Governments would speed implementation of the plan.
    • The Pedestrian & Cycling Master Plan – Capital Regional District estimated the cost of upgrading the bicycle network to attract people of all ages and abilities is around $275 million.
    • TransLink has estimated that completing all ages cycling networks around the region may be much higher than $800 million. Due to lack of new funding sources, in 2013, TransLink only invested $2 million.

    Decades of Underinvestment

    A large expenditure on cycling facilities is required to make up ground lost through several decades of underinvestment . The Netherlands, widely hailed as the world leader in cycling, spends approximately $40 per person per year on cycling. Several other jurisdictions with cycling levels similar to that of BC are matching or exceeding that level of investment. London Mayor Johnson recently announced he will increase  cycling funding to $619 million over the next three years.

    Cost Effective

    No other transportation investment of similar size can boast the potential to be enjoyed by people of all ages and income brackets, in communities large and small, throughout the province. High quality cycling facilities that are attractive to a significant portion of the population such as bicycle paths and separated bicycle lanes can cost from $1 million to $4 million per km (1/6 the cost of one km of road network for motorized vehicles). This investment will enable the construction of hundreds of kilometres of high quality facilities in communities around the province, giving the majority of British Columbians access to great bicycle routes.

    Everyone Benefits

    Importantly, cycling facilities also benefit those who don’t ride a bicycle. Multi-use paths are used by pedestrians, in-line skaters, electric wheelchairs, personal mobility scooters, and skateboards. Traffic calming along bicycle routes benefits neighbourhoods, making streets safer for all pedestrians. But it has particular benefit for seniors, children, and the disabled. Bike lanes along busy streets calm traffic, enhancing the pedestrian environment and creating a more welcoming retail atmosphere.

    Accelerated Investment

    In our Cycling Strategy. we recommend a significant acceleration of the investment in cycling networks including bicycle paths, separated bicycle lanes and other high quality bicycle facilities totalling $175 million per year by all levels of government. This investment in infrastructure, accompanied by funding for education, promotion, and end-of-trip facilities, will enable residents and visitors of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently cycle throughout the province, fostering healthier individuals and communities.

    Take Action

    We encourage the Provincial Government to show strong leadership by committing $100 per year for cycling and walking networks in communities around B.C.

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    Let the Leaders Know You Want Increased Cycling Investment
    Tell them what the problems and solutions are in your community and what better cycling would mean for your family and friends.

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  • posted about Remove the PST and Add Rebates for Electric Bikes on Facebook 2016-12-29 00:49:54 -0800
    A car weighs 3000 pounds. A bike weighs 30 pounds. That is a difference of 100. A bike is 100 times smaller. 100 times more energy efficient. And 100 times better than a car. For that, a bike should get 100 times the subsidy that cars get. Think about it.

    Remove the PST and Add Rebates for Electric Bikes

    Currently in B.C. bicycles and transportation fares are exempt from PST charges, and clean energy vehicles are eligible for rebates up to $5,000. Purchases of new electric bicycles, and their electric parts, are charged PST, and are not eligible for rebates. Something doesn’t seem right here, does it?

    Take Action: Email the Premier

    For a brief period of time, when B.C. was running the HST tax, electric bikes did, in fact, receive tax exemptions. It seems that in the transition back to the system we currently use, minor details such as taxes on assisted bikes slipped through the cracks.  

    For small business owners however, this detail feels rather significant. "It's really quite a hassle." Says Paul Dragan of Reckless Bikes. "When repairing an electric bike, we have to charge PST on the electric parts like the battery and motor while there is no PST on the bike parts like wheels and brakes.". Creating two separate lines, and a once unnecessary step to small business’s financial records, is cumbersome and aggravating.

    For individuals, the re-added tax could be a barrier to purchasing, or converting to, an e-bike. Electric bikes suitable for commuting typically cost $1500-$3000, making the suggested PST exemption worth about $105 - $210 for buyers, plus on-going PST charges on maintaining parts. Additionally, a rebate would provide financial incentives for individuals to incorporate active transportation into their daily lives.

    Electric bikes are being studied by biking centres around the world. The Netherlands, and Norway have measured significant increases in bicycle trip length, and frequency due to use of electric bikes.  In 2013, a survey in the Netherlands reported that 5 percent of the total population, and 10 percent of the 60+ population owned an e-bike, and those with electric models ride twice as many kilometers compared to the 60+ cyclists with a regular bike. In 2014, they found that those with e-bikes rode 22% more kilometres per week, and the average commuting distance rose from 6.3 to 9.8 kilometres. Assisted bikes make up 21% of bicycles sales in the Netherlands.

    Electric bicycles remove accessibility barriers by allowing riders to conquer hills, speeds, and distances that would otherwise be impossible for some people. These machines, that emit zero carbon, make active transportation a viable option for a broader population, opening it up to all ages and abilities, especially in combination with safe cycling infrastructure.

    With B.C.’s aggressive climate targets for 2050, and municipal initiatives to increase active transportation, removing financial barriers to access electric bicycles is logical. Considering that it was not long ago that we actually didn’t pay taxes on these bikes, it is more of an error correction, than a radical request.

    The British Columbia Cycling Coalition has submitted a formal request to remove the PST and add rebates, similar to those available for electric cars, as part of their Climate Leadership Action Plan recommendation.

    Also included in the recommendations a billion dollars over ten years for bike paths and protected bike lanes as well as improved design standards that can safely accommodate electric bikes and enable longer distance commuting.

    More Info

    Electric Bicycle Affordability Submission - Sept 2019 | BC Cycling Coalition

     

    Official response from submitted

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    Take Action: Tell the Leaders to Remove the PST and Add Rebates for E-bikes
    Let them know how more affordable electric bikes and dramatically increased investment in cycling networks will help you and others in your community get around.
    1,106 PEOPLE HAVE SENT EMAILS
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