Adaptive Bike Share: Expanding Bike Share to People with Disabilities and Older Adults

Adaptive Bike Share: Expanding Bike Share to People with Disabilities and Older Adults

Bike share systems are expanding efforts to be more equitable and accessible to everyone by offering adaptive bicycle options to people who might otherwise be unable to ride. These systems tend to range from the inclusion of electric bikes and standard trikes into the existing systems to offer a more full range of adaptive bicycle options for use at rental locations. Surveys of residents living in several low-income communities of color (n = 1,885) are used to explore the potential need for adaptive bike share options in urban locations. A national survey of cities and bike share operators (n = 70) is used to document the prevalence and basic models of adaptive bike share programming currently in place. Interviews conducted with bike share representatives in select cities with adaptive bike share programs provide context and details on how specific programs operate. Finally, interviews with adaptive bike share participants (n = 5) in Portland, Oregon, help to illuminate users’ experiences, including the perceived value and potential improvements for adaptive bike share.

Key findings

   This opportunistic combination of data sources indicated that there is an underserved market of people who do not feel they can use existing bike share systems because of some type of physical limitation, but that reaching and serving those people presents substantial hurdles.

   Current bike share systems are slowly exploring the right way to include accessible options but are challenged by cost, resources, bicycle types, program implementation, and infrastructure.

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