EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island residents who buy electric bicycles will soon be eligible for rebates under a program announced on Wednesday and named in honor of a former Associated Press reporter.
The $250,000 Erika Niedowski Memorial Electric Bike Rebate Program will offer rebates of up to $1,000 or 75% of the final purchase price, whichever is less, to low- and moderate-income residents, and rebates of up to $400 or 30% of the final purchase price of the bicycle, whichever is less, for other residents, according to the office of Gov. Dan McKee.
Niedowski, a former journalist for The Associated Press and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Baltimore Sun, died in October 2020 after a sudden illness. She was 46.
Niedowski, who was also director of communications for McKee while he was lieutenant governor, was an advocate for renewable energy and environmental justice and loved donning her favorite hoodie and taking off on her bike.
“This is an amazing honor for Erika. This program will merge two loves in her life, cycling and protecting the environment,” her longtime partner, Patrick Laverty, said in a statement.
Applications for the rebate program will be available online at www.drive.ri.gov starting Oct. 24. The bikes must be purchased in Rhode Island.
“Erika was an inspiration to all who knew her,” McKee said. “She was brilliant, talented, thoughtful, and her commitment to promoting clean energy solutions will positively impact Rhode Island for generations to come.”