Riders on adaptive bicycles at the Adaptive BIKETOWN/Kerr Bikes location along Portland's Eastbank Esplanade near OMSI. Photo by Sarah Petersen/PBOT.
(May 8, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Albertina Kerr today announced the opening of the 2019 season for Adaptive BIKETOWN, a program that provides adaptive bikes for short-term rental.
An extension of BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike share program, Adaptive BIKETOWN is a bike rental service focused on increasing bicycle access to people with disabilities.
Initiated as a pilot project in 2017, this is Adaptive BIKETOWN’s third season.
“I am very pleased that Adaptive BIKETOWN is open for the 2019 season and now includes electric-assist adaptive bikes,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “There is still a great deal of work to be done to achieve equity in transportation, but an expanded Adaptive BIKETOWN is a strong step forward that acknowledges the needs of Portlanders with disabilities and further integrates adaptive bikes into our bike share system.”
As part of PBOT’s celebration of National Bike Month, Adaptive BIKETOWN rentals will provide 90 minutes of free ride time for those that qualify for a TriMet Honored Citizens pass from May 9 to May 19.
Adaptive BIKETOWN will also be at every Sunday Parkways this year showcasing different adaptive bikes at each event, beginning with Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways on May 19.
Adaptive BIKETOWN is operated by Kerr Bikes, an initiative of the non-profit Albertina Kerr, which provides a comprehensive array of services for kids and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.
“Albertina Kerr is proud to be a partner in making the Adaptive BIKETOWN vision a reality here in Portland,” said Albertina Kerr CEO Jeff Carr. “Enriching people’s lives by providing accessible and appropriate bike rental options is consistent with our vision of creating a more inclusive community.”
Riders can choose from 15 different bikes that are designed for people with a range of abilities. The fleet includes hand-powered cycles, foot-powered cycles and multi-rider cycles. Through a grant from Nike, Adaptive BIKETOWN added two electric-assist foot-powered cycles in 2018.
The Adaptive BIKETOWN bicycles are available for rent at Kerr Bikes’ OMSI location along the Eastbank Esplanade. The rental cost is $5 per hour or three hours for $12 for people with disabilities, seniors and those who qualify for a TriMet honored citizen pass. Rental prices are higher for others.
Kerr Bikes encourages first-time renters to register in advance for a bike fitting, to ensure that the bikes are properly adjusted for the best ride. Those measurements will be saved, allowing for easy walk-in rentals for future rides. Walk-in registration is allowed, but participants should expect the fitting process to take from 15 minutes to one hour.
The growing use of Adaptive BIKETOWN speaks to the demand for adaptive bicycle access in Portland. In 2018, rentals increased 220 percent over 2017. The vast majority of riders (87 percent) qualified for a TriMet Honored Citizens pass. This 87 percent is composed of people with disabilities, seniors, and those living on low incomes.
“Adaptive BIKETOWN offers folks the ability to choose within their abilities a recreational vehicle of sorts to experience our beautiful city,” said Deidre Hall a member of the community advisory committee that advised PBOT on the program’s design. “As a person with a disability myself, I hadn’t ridden an adaptive bicycle since childhood and I was so thrilled to be given the opportunity to do so as an adult…Watching the program take shape and the smiles on the faces of my fellow disability community members experiencing the excitement and empowerment of adaptive bicycle riding, many for the first time, has been priceless.”
For reservations and additional information about the program, please visit adaptivebiketown.com.
Deidre Hall, who was a member of PBOT's Adaptive Bike Workgroup, takes an adaptive bike for a spin as part of the program. Photo by PBOT.