Photo: Clane Gessel Photography
On May 11, Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) Adaptive Sports, the City of Oakland, Lyft, and GoBike launched the Bay Area’s very first adaptive bike share program.
Bike East Bay’s executive director Ginger Jui advocated strongly for the program over the past two years while sitting on the adaptive bike share technical advisory committee. “We’re working to shatter the assumption that people with disabilities don’t ride bikes,” Ginger said. “I’m super excited about adaptive bike share at Lake Merritt because it’s a highly visible and transit accessible location with great bike paths. This program is going to blow a lot of people’s minds with the idea that biking is for people of all abilities, not just the strong and able-bodied.”
The program offers handcycles, adaptive tricycles, and a side-by-side tandem bike, so that people with limited mobility can pedal using their arms or legs. This six-month pilot will help inform how people with disabilities can and want to access shared bike systems, and will educate new users to a different form of shared mobility. With the growth of bike share across the country, having an accessible, inclusive option for all riders is paramount.
“The first step to bike share programs becoming fully inclusive is to increase awareness about the equipment and options that make cycling possible for people with disabilities,” said Greg Milano, BORP’s Adaptive Cycling Manager. “Once people see what’s possible and get a chance to try them out, they’ll be able to take equal advantage of the bike lanes and trails we’ve all invested in over the last decade.”
The adaptive bikes will be available at 1335 Lakeshore Avenue at Lake Merritt on Wednesdays from 11am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm. Once improvements are completed at Snow Park, the adaptive bike share station will move to that location. Staff from BORP will be on-hand to fit, train and assist riders on how to use the new adaptive bikes. The program is funded by Lyft and will be free of charge for people with disabilities during the six-month pilot.