Town of Banff offers residents rebates on e-bike purchases

Residents of the mountain town of Banff, Alta., can take advantage of a new rebate if they add an electric boost to their cycling hobby.

Reimbursement runs up to $750 on bicycles under $5,000

The Banff area has many trails to explore by bike, including the Legacy Trail that links the town to Canmore. (Patrick Dwyer)

Banff residents looking to add an electric boost as they cycle their favourite bike path or run errands can take advantage of a new rebate.

The Town of Banff says it is now offering residents a rebate of up to $750 on the purchase of an electric pedal assist bike under $5,000.

Michael Hay, the town's manager of environment and sustainability, said the goal of the program is to get people to ride their bicycles for longer distances — and use them for things they might not otherwise.

"We want to be a leader across the country. In fact, what we say is we'd like to be a model environmental community," Hay said.

"A big part of that is trying to get people to use transportation methods that are good for the environment."

Any Banff resident is eligible for the rebate. Hay said the program will be extended to businesses in a couple of weeks. 

In a post on social media, the town said the rebate will be paid for out of revenue from visitor paid parking.

Higher rebates are available to members of the town's Banff Access Program.

Those in Tier 1 of the program can access a rebate of up to $1,000, while those in Tier 2 have access to a rebate of up to $900.

Buzz in town

There's been a lot of buzz in town about the new rebate, said Dave Sand, owner of The Tune Shop.

"I think people are very excited about it."

Sand said he thinks it will help make the bikes more accessible to locals.

"With Banff being hit with, you know, the downturn with tourism and all that, the $750 goes a long ways for somebody in Banff that's a server in town, that hasn't had a job in a long time."

The e-bikes at The Tune Shop range in price from $3,200 to $8,300, said Sand. 

The commuter-style e-bike can also help with the hills in the area.

"It will get people into bikes that are maybe a little bit on the fence," Sand said.

With files from Jo Horwood and Dominika Lirette