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Democratizing ebikes, from a Black-owned bike share startup to a loan-to-own model.
January 10, 2023
E-bikes have seen a surge during the pandemic. Cities across the country, and indeed the globe, are recognizing e-bikes as a convenient and environmentally-friendly transportation option – one that can bring mobility to residents facing transportation insecurity and can even replace cars for many households, while helping cities meet sustainability goals and beat traffic.
In this series of presentations, you’ll learn about four ways that communities and organizations are working to increase access to e-bikes. You’ll hear from Grecia White, a StreetsblogMASS reporter who covers Massachusetts transportation projects, including bike libraries that allow locals to “check out” an ebike. You’ll meet Ronnell Elkins, whose family founded and leads a Black-owned e-bike sharing startup that’s the first bikeshare program in Youngstown, Ohio.
You’ll learn from Pedal Ahead founder Ed Clancy, whose nonprofit runs a loan-to-own ebike program for low income San Diegans and has recently been tasked with implementing California’s statewide e-bike incentive program. And finally you’ll meet Nico Collignon, a researcher working on tech to accelerate cities’ transition to cargo bike logistics, and the author of a viral Next City op-ed.
This session is part of Next City’s Solutions of the Year, a multi-day virtual convening of seven sessions that will frame the conversation for 2023. Purchase a single ticket now to all of the events for just $50, or pay what you wish by registering for each event individually. Everyone who donates will receive a copy of our annual Solutions of the Year special issue magazine.
Grecia White, Reporter, StreetsblogMASS
Grecia White is a bilingual reporter with StreetsblogMASS where she writes about transportation infrastructure topics across Massachusetts with a focus on active mobility, accessibility and climate change efforts. She serves as the chair of the American Planning Association Latinos and Planning Division. While putting together a bike lending library database that Next City featured in its coverage, she also worked on a separate personal project, “Women Who Bike at Night,” a short video focused in the Boston area. She hopes to help normalize biking as both a way of getting around, but also as a way of seeing the city in a new way.
Ed Clancy, President/CEO, Pedal Ahead
Pedal Ahead (@sociallyconscioustransportation) is operated under the leadership of Ed Clancy, an armed forces veteran and sought-after public speaker for active living - healthy lifestyles. Ed was part of the team that conceptualized and launched the Pedal Ahead program - to lead innovation by providing Loan-To-Own electric bicycles for residents of low-income communities. To date, 400 e-bikes have been distributed to individuals to manage daily activities while increases in mental, physical, socio-economic and environmental health are benefited.
Ed's hobbies include playing and coaching (youth) ice hockey, cycling, volunteering for veteran support organizations.
Nico Collignon, Co-founder, Kale Collective
Nicolas Collignon is a co-founder at Kale Collective, a tech company aimed at accelerating the transition to cargo bike logistics in cities. He holds a PhD in computational cognitive science and has worked as a data scientist with a cargo bike logistics start-up as well as a cargo bike manufacturer.
Ronnell Elkins, President, YoGo Bikeshare
Ronnell Elkins was born and raised in Youngstown Ohio. A graduate of Woodrow Wilson Highschool, he later attended Eastern Michigan University where he studied business management and communications. Ronnell serves as President of YoGo Bikeshare in Youngstown, OH, where with his family started the first bike share program in Youngstown launching in the Spring of 2023. Witnessing the deficiencies in alternative modes of transportation in his city, Elkins decided to incorporate E-bikes to assist with the hilly terrain in the Mahoning Valley. In his free time he enjoys golf, basketball and spending time with his wife and daughter Caristian.
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