Graham Kilmer

Bublr Unveils Adaptive Bikes

It's the first ever adaptive bikeshare in the U.S. that is fully integrated with the system.

By - Aug 6th, 2019 04:28 pm
One of the new adaptive bikes. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

One of the new adaptive bikes. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Bublr Bikes along with Mayor Tom Barrett and advocates for the differently abled, unveiled a first of its kind adaptive bikeshare program.

The City of Milwaukee and their non-profit partner Bublr Bikes are rolling out a pilot program for adaptive bikes for those with varying abilities. The pilot includes seven upright trikes, three hand-cycles and seven two-person side-by-side bicycles. The announcement came at a press conference Tuesday on the fifth anniversary of Bublr Bike’s launch.

Cities like Portland and Detroit have implemented adaptive bikeshare programs, but Milwaukee’s is the first in the country that allows users to access adaptive bikes directly from Bublr’s bikeshare stations. Riders looking for the adaptive bikes can find them online or on the B-Cycle app.

The idea for the adaptive bikeshare came two years ago when advocates from the varying abilities community approached the Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission seeking inclusion in the Bublr Bikes program. “We have heard loud and clear from the Milwaukee community that our program needs to be fully integrated with our Bublr Bike system,” said Barrett.

Chez Ordonez, chair of the equal rights commission, said they worked with the Mayor’s office, the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the State Department of Administration to kickstart the program. Over the past two years, Bublr Bikes has worked with the a group of stakeholders to develop the pilot program, and over the next year, Bublr and DPW will analyze how best to implement adaptive bikes throughout the city on a wider scale.

“This is a pilot program but this isn’t going away anytime soon,” Ordonez said.

The three kinds of bikes will allow people of varying abilities to enjoy bikeshare and bicycling in general. Deb Falk-Palec, with the Milwaukee County Commission for People With Disabilities noted that side by side tandem bikes will be useful for blind people or those with intellectual disabilities. The handcycles, for those with lower extremity disabilities. And Trikes for those with varying abilities or the elderly.

“Including bike options for people with disabilities in bikeshare is not only possible but necessary to ensure equal opportunity exists for all people,” Falk-Palec said.

To get ready for the launch of this program, Bublr has held monthly training sessions with the Ability Center to begin training those with varying abilities how to ride the adaptive bikes.

At the press conference Tuesday, Bublr also announced the addition of Bublr’s first E-Bikes. They are Trek bicycles with electric motors that give riders extra power while they ride. Bublr has four E-Bikes that will soon be on the streets.

New Bikes

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Categories: Transportation

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