After its initial run, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is calling their Adaptive Biketown program a success and plans to bring it back this spring.
The program launched in July of last year and ran through the end of October. According to PBOT stats released last month, there were 59 total rentals to 27 unique participants.
One of the people who used the service was Chris Pangilinan. He was profiled in a PBOT blog post and said the experience, “Opened up a whole new world for me to explore Portland, spend time with friends, and get exercise.” Here’s more from Panilinan via PBOT:
Chris surprised himself when he and his friend Jeff Mack rode all the way to Milwaukie and back (over 11 miles!). For Chris, being able to ride is “hugely important… It’s indescribable what the freedom is like to get on a bike if you’ve never been on one before. Most people take it for granted, because they grew up on one, but to go from wheelchairing and riding buses to actually riding a bike is just a whole new level. And I’m not even going to even try to describe it, because I can’t, you have to go do it yourself to understand!”
And here are a few more stats released by PBOT:
— 68% of participants qualified for a discounted rate (people with disabilities, Medicare recipients, seniors, or self-identified as unable to ride a traditional two-wheeled bicycle)
— 53% of riders surveyed said it was their first time riding an adaptive bike
— 2/3 of riders surveyed said they rode in a group
— 76% of riders surveyed said they live or work in the Portland region
The program will be offered again starting May 1st and the bikes will be available for test rides at all five upcoming Sunday Parkways events.
PBOT launched Adaptive Biketown as an extension of its bike share program in response to criticisms that it wasn’t accessible to people with disabilities. The adaptive bikes were rented out by Kerr Bikes, a nonprofit that operates a rental shop on the Eastbank Esplanade path near OMSI. For more on the program check out our related posts below and visit PBOT’s website.
For more on the use of bicycles by people with disabilities, check out this article published today by The Guardian, ‘A rolling walking stick’: why do so many disabled people cycle in Cambridge?.
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