Adaptive Biketown, Portland’s adaptive bike share program for people with disabilities or difficulties riding a standard bike, is now in its sixth year of operation since being implemented as a pilot program in 2017. In a newsletter update from the City of Portland’s Biketown team today, they shared some good news: adaptive bike share ridership has rebounded since the pandemic, and the program will offer free one-hour rentals for the rest of 2022.
People interested in riding adaptive bikes could rent one from Biketown free of charge for an hour from July to October of last year, and the Biketown team says this helped introduce new patrons to the service. Now, free one-hour rides will be available for the whole year, hopefully bringing even more people into the fold.
Just like Biketown’s two-wheeled bike rental program, which has been booming – data from the Portland Bureau of Transportation shows ridership more than doubled in the first two months of 2022 compared to 2021 – Adaptive Biketown’s outreach and free rental periods seem to be working to cure the pandemic lag in rentals.
Last year, we covered an event intended to help people with Parkinson’s find an adaptive bike that works for them. This came shortly after they announced a major fleet expansion, from 12 adaptive cycles to 27, six of which have e-assist functionality.
Adaptive bikes are expensive, so having the option to try them out through a program like Biketown provides opportunities for people who might not otherwise get that chance.
More news from the Adaptive Biketown team is that they will assemble a Public Work Group that will start meeting monthly to discuss the program and its future. If you’re interested, take this new survey (first 50 responses get a $20 gift card!).