Portland Launches Adaptive Biketown, an Accessible Bike-Share Program

Portland, Oregon is expanding its popular Nike-sponsored Biketown program, a year after its initial launch, to include disability-friendly options. According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the new program, called “Adaptive Biketown,” is the nation’s first city-sponsored program for riders with disabilities.

Portland began considering an adaptive form of Biketown last year at the urging of then-candidate City Council Member Chloe Eudaly, whose son lives with cerebral palsy.

At first, officials of the initial advisory committee didn’t understand what creating an adaptive bike service entailed. “The first time they wanted to speak to us, they were like, ‘Give us a list of disabilities, and give us a list of the bikes that work for them,’” said Jennifer Wilde, who works with a nonprofit assisting people with disabilities told the Los Angeles Times. “And that’s just not the way it works in the world of disability, because there’s just so much diversity.”

In creating the bike share program, PBOT interviewed and surveyed people living with disabilities and established a public work group to advise the program’s development.

“When Biketown launched, I was disappointed that there weren’t bikes for me,” Jeremy Robbins, a member of PBOT’s Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project Work Group, said in a statement for PBOT. “Working with PBOT and others on developing Adaptive BIKETOWN has been very rewarding. I’m very excited for the launch of this historic project.”

While its parent program was originally intended for commuters, Adaptive Biketown is geared towards recreation and exercise. The service offers a variety of disability-friendly hand cycles, foot cycles and multi-person cycles for rental. Those interested in renting a bike can make a reservation by completing a rider profile and arriving fifteen minutes before a scheduled rental for a bike fitting process. Adaptive Biketown services also include helmets, mobility device storage and crate storage for service animals.

Adaptive Biketown is shaping up to be both an environmentally friendly initiative as well as an affordable one. It is not uncommon for children’s adaptive bikes to cost several hundred dollars while adult adaptive bikes can cost several thousand. However, Adaptive Biketown offers rentals for as low as $5 an hour for hand cycles, foot cycles and multi-rider bikes.

Portland’s adaptive bike share will be run as a pilot program this fall, and will use user feedback to expand in 2018.

Header credit: City of Portland

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

Eye control screen from Windows 10

Microsoft Will Feature Eye-Tracking Software on Windows 10

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new initiative to make its products more accessible to those living with disabilities. The tech-giant is currently testing a new eye-tracking software which will be integrated into Windows 10. The feature, simply called “Eye Control,” will utilize Tobii’s Eye Tracker 4C technology, allowing users to interact with their devices through eye movements. Eye [...]

What You Need to Know About That Clip of Trump 'Ignoring' a Boy in a Wheelchair

There’s more you need to know about that clip of President Donald Trump ‘ignoring’ that boy in the wheelchair. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kwSXHAS5_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kwSXHAS5.json","ph":2} ); Read the full version of What You Need to Know About That Clip of Trump ‘Ignoring’ a Boy in a Wheelchair. Read the full transcript: What You Need to Know About That Clip [...]
Disability form with glasses and ballpoint pen.

The Reality of Needing to Be on Disability

I’ve been debating whether to risk writing about this for about two months. It feels incredibly, personally risky. Judgment can be so fierce when it comes to this topic. Disability. Financial disability support from the government. I live in Canada, and see some similarities and some vast differences in how permanent disability works in different [...]
Tweet from JK Rowling which reads "to that boy or his family, I apologise unreservedly. These tweets will remain, but I will delete the previous ones on the subject."

J.K. Rowling Apologizes for Tweet About Trump 'Ignoring' a Young Boy With a Disability

J.K. Rowling apologized on Monday for a tweet she shared late last week of President Trump seemingly ignoring a young boy in a wheelchair. “‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’ – Maya Angelou,” Rowling tweeted with the clip, which has since been removed. The author continued with a series of heated tweets, [...]