Bronx man serving community gets free e-bike Leave a comment

Frank Walrond’s job overseeing kitchens and food programs at BronxWorks, a community nonprofit organization that serves individuals and families, takes him all around the borough.

“It’s a bit much to be on the train and the bus,” Walrond said. “I spend a lot of time traveling.”

But that will change.

What You Need To Know

  • Frank Walrond, who oversees kitchens for BronxWorkers, a non-profit, got a free e-bike under new project called Equitable Commute Project
  • The Equitable Commute Project, a group of transportation and community groups, seeks to raise money to cover the costs of electric-powered vehicles
  • Micromobility – small, electric-powered devices like e-bikes and scooters – is becoming more popular in New York, especially during the pandemic

Walrond got a free electric-powered bicycle – price tag, $1,900, paid for by a new program called the Equitable Commute Project.

“It feels like, I guess what people feel like when they get their first car. This is my first car right here,” Walrond said on his new ride. “I feel like I’m able to take a lot of opportunities and move around. I’m just a little scared how it’s gonna take off.”

The Equitable Commute Project is a coalition of transportation and community groups, and has been raising money from corporate sponsors to subsidize up to half the cost of electric bicycles and scooters to essential workers and low-income New Yorkers, first focusing on the Bronx.

Walrond is its first recipient.

“The goal of it is to get as many micro-mobility modes into the hands of New Yorkers who need them as we can,” said Christina Hsu of Transportation Alternatives, a cycling and pedestrian safety group.

Walrond learned of the program from a colleague

“I was thinking about purchasing, to make my work life easier,” he said. “He was like, hold on don’t purchase it yet, look into this program.”

Walrond, needing to pay for college to study computer science, joined Bronx Works’ youth programs. Then, worked in the kitchen, eventually becoming food services supervisor.

That gave him the responsibility on five kitchens run by Bronx Works.

“Now, I’ll be able to run around, meet deadlines, help out other kitchens,” Walrond said. “Sometimes, I’m only able to get to one place in a day now I’ll be able to get to all the places in a day.”

His first trip on his new e-bike is the Bronx Works’ Hunts Point facility

“It was intense,” he said.

“The possibilities are limitless and the fact that I can go around so fast and reach places with cargo and things like that, my productivity is going to go out through the roof,” Walrond said.

For the Equitable Commute Project, their goal is to assist many more essential workers to have a reliable way to get around so they can help more people from their community.

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