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Placer County Subsidizes Bicycles To Get Cars Off The Road

  

The parking lot at Green Hills Elementary school is almost empty when Principal Peter Towne pulls off his black helmet and swings his bike into the rack.

"It's a beautiful ride. I mean it's the sunrise right now. It's gorgeous," says Towne. "I defy anyone who's commuting in their car to hear a bird sing or make friends."

Towne says he's met many people on the trails during his 10-mile daily commute.

He's logged 7,000 miles since he bought his Marin Hybrid through the Bucks for Bikes program three years ago.

He cites his commute as an inspiration to others. He says the school has added three bike racks since he started commuting. 

The program subsidizes the purchase of about 30 bikes a year.

Scott Aaron, an urban planner with Placer County, says applicants must demonstrate that they're serious about commuting. For example, he wants to know if riders have researched whether there is a bike trail that connects to part of the route, and he wants to know how many days a week an applicant plans on riding. 

Aaron says the goal of the program is to reduce traffic and improve air quality.

"We've figured that, last year for example, we have eliminated over 226,0000 pounds of pollutants that would have otherwise been generated by driving to work,"says Aaron.

You have until March 9 to submit an application for Bucks for Bikes. Successful recipients are eligible for up to a $200 subsidy.

Both Solano County, and the city of South Natomas offer similar programs for cyclists.