Bike-sharing, or the use of rental bikes for transportation in urban areas, has become increasingly popular across the United States. The systems allow riders to pay a fee to ride a bike from one docking station to another. A program in Portland, Oregon, called Adaptive BIKETOWN was the first to implement the use of adaptive bikes in bike-sharing (1). They offer foot-powered tricycles, handcycles, tandems, and other accommodations for individuals with disabilities from May to October.
Next in line to begin an adaptive bike-sharing program was MoGo in Detroit, which launched its own program in May of 2018 (2). MoGo is made possible by Wheelhouse Detroit and Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC) (3). They offer cycling options including recumbent tricycles, hand tricycles, upright cargo tricycles, tandem tricycles, tandem bikes, and more. All Adaptive MoGo trips start and end at Wheelhouse Detroit’s riverfront location.
The most recent bike-share program on the list, called Ford GoBike, was founded in 2017, with bike stations in five cities across California. When faced with complaints from the Oakland Mayor’s Commission on Persons with Disabilities, the regional leaders began to include individuals with disabilities in the bike-share program in 2019 (4).
The team consisted of GoBike, Lyft, Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) Adaptive Sports, and the City of Oakland, and they launched their adaptive bike-share program on May 11 (5). Oakland’s adaptive bike-share program offers tricycles, tandem tricycles, handcycles, and other devices and accommodations to serve those with disabilities (4).
Unlike many other bike-share programs, which focus on people traveling from one point to another, the Oakland adaptive bike-share is based on people with disabilities riding for enjoyment (4). The idea is that riders with disabilities would stop and start at the same locations to ensure that they can return to their other necessary assistive technologies.
Additionally, staff from BORP will be available to assist riders on how to use the adaptive bikes (5).
The Oakland adaptive bike-share will be offered at Lake Merritt throughout the summer on Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They have a form available here so that people can reserve adaptive bikes ahead of time (6).
It is noted in the press releases regarding these adaptive bike-sharing programs, that bike-sharing has been a transportational tool used mostly by wealthy individuals. For this reason, many bike-shares are making accessible biking more affordable as well. The hope is that, in the not-so-distant future, bike-sharing will be something everyone can enjoy (2,4).
- Adaptive BIKETOWN Pilot. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/73371
- Zaveri, M. (2018, December 10). Bike-Share Options Are Rarely Available for People With Disabilities. Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/us/bike-share-disabilities-detroit.html
- Adaptive MoGo. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://mogodetroit.org/adaptive-mogo/
- Baldassari, E. (2019, May 31). Bike-Share Programs Adding Adaptive Offerings. Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2019/05/31/bike-share-programs-adding-adaptive-offerings/26701/
- Schena, S. C. (2019, May 12). Adaptive Bike Share Launch & Ride: Lake Merritt, Oakland. Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://patch.com/california/rockridge/calendar/event/20190511/558692/adaptive-bike-share-launch-ride-lake-merritt-oakland
- Lyft, Inc. (n.d.). Adaptive Bike Share | Bay Wheels. Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.lyft.com/bikes/bay-wheels/adaptive-bike-share