Denver’s e-bike program website crashed for many users when it launched at 8 a.m. Monday

This round of the program will offer 2,000 vouchers for e-bikes.

Cyclists speed by Denver Parks and Recreation's safety booth on the Cherry Creek Trail, May 16, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cyclists speed by Denver Parks and Recreation's safety booth on the Cherry Creek Trail, May 16, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

kyle harris

“An error occurred while processing your request.”

That’s the message many Denver residents received at 8 a.m. on Monday, when they had been told to apply for the city’s touted e-bike program.

What happened?

“So many people logged on at once that the city website couldn’t handle the traffic,” said Winna MacLaren, a spokesperson for Denver’s Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency, who was busy troubleshooting the error.

“Some people are able to get through,” she said. “Some are getting that error message if it’s sitting for a while. So it’s working, but it’s got a lot of website traffic right now.”

By around 8:20, some people reported the site was working.

Once their applications were submitted and acknowledged, they were told they would receive a message within seven to ten days, as city officials vetted whether they were actually from Denver and qualified.

The program offers $1,200 vouchers for income-qualifying residents, $400 for others, and an additional $500 for cargo e-bikes. Those bikes have to be purchased through specific local shops. Of the vouchers that will be distributed, at least half will go to income-qualifying residents.

Clearly, it’s already popular — so popular applications were cut off within a couple weeks in the first round and the website wasn’t working in the second.

It’s “like trying to buy phish tickets from a crappy municipal website,” resident Jason Hornyak wrote on Twitter.

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