The Village of Ossining is one of the river towns dotted along a regional commuter rail line in New York’s Westchester County. In spite of the connectivity this regional link offers, residents and visitors face obstacles getting to well-paying jobs, services, and opportunities outside their immediate community.
A project led by EIT InnoEnergy, with the support of Nelson\Nygaard and ACTON, will provide affordable and sustainable mobility options to knit together river town communities and enhance access to opportunities beyond them. The project has been awarded $7 million through the New York Clean Transportation Prizes Program’s Electric Mobility Challenge. The support for Project MOVER—the acronym stands for “Moving onto Vast E-micromobility Replication”—will go towards implementing the micromobility project in the Village of Ossining and four additional river town communities in Westchester County: the Town of Ossining, Croton-on-Hudson, Tarrytown, and Dobbs Ferry. Once completed, the project will provide more than 1,000 e-bikes and 120 charging stations—plus locks, helmets, charging adapters, and bike racks—to transform the transportation landscape for the region’s underserved populations.
An extensive and inclusive engagement strategy led by Nelson\Nygaard was strengthened by Dru van Hengel’s project leadership and her deep understanding of the river communities, where she grew up. Working in close partnership with community-based organizations representing working class residents, immigrant families, affordable housing tenants, and formerly incarcerated individuals, the Nelson/Nygaard team co-designed the bikeshare system to put electric bikes within reach of every Village of Ossining resident and visitor.
The Nelson\Nygaard team, including Brynn Leopold, Sahar Shirazi, Monique Ho, Ian Kolesinskas, and Emily Roach also developed supportive services, including a subsidized lease-to-own programs, local e-bike lending sites with flexible payment options, and community-led training programs. A new neighborhood bike boulevard network will highlight safer, lower-stress routes between key destinations for riders.
Project MOVER will dramatically expand access to shared and personal e-bikes and create an Electric Mobility Incubator—a knowledge exchange for nearby river towns experiencing similar challenges to access—and create a blueprint for this work to be implemented beyond the Village of Ossining and across New York State. The project’s commitment to inclusive, equitable public involvement will be essential to inspiring long-lasting transportation behavior change and reaching intended mobility, environmental, economic, and social goals.
The New York Clean Transportation Prizes Program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.