NORTH LAWNDALE — West Side neighbors can get money for bikes and electric vehicles as part of a new program that’s accepting applicants.
The Mobility Opportunities Fund is offering stipends of $350-$3,500 to West Side residents who want to buy a bike, e-bike, electric cargo bike or electric vehicle. Organizers hope the program will expand employment and transportation opportunities in the area, which has faced disinvestment in mobility.
Applications are available online and are open through May 31.
Equiticity, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of people of color, partnered with ComEd on the program. The project has already helped 200 neighbors, but it has spots for about 50 more, said Remel Terry, Equiticity’s director of programs.
Equiticity will host an in-person application event 1-5 p.m. Feb. 18 at the MLK Exhibit Center, 1558 S. Hamlin Ave.
The stipends are $350 for a conventional bike, $750 for an e-bike, $1,500 for an electric cargo bike and $3,500 for an electric vehicle. Applicants who are picked must buy their vehicle by May 31.
Terry hopes the program expands employment and transportation opportunities for neighbors, she said.
“This is an opportunity to provide access to a population which has faced issues with alternative modes of transportation,” Terry said. “We want to make sure that this can be continued in other places as well.”
North Lawndale has lagged behind the rest of the city in terms of transportation infrastructure and walkability. Outdated train lines and crumbling sidewalks have plagued the neighborhood for decades.
Destiny Pope, the Mobile Opportunities Fund’s program manager, hopes the program extends beyond North Lawndale in the future.
“I believe that our community should have the same level of accessibility I see in other communities,” Pope said.
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