Bikeshare Programs Lack Accessible Options
In the New York Times, Mihir Zaveri explores how cities are handling the dearth of options for disabled riders in bikeshare programs across the United States.
Many cities with public-private bikeshare programs, including New York and Chicago, don't offer accessible options like adaptive bikes. But they may have to start. The U.S. Justice Department has said that "to the extent a bike-share program is a program, service or activity of a city or other public entity," it is required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Zaveri reports. That approach echoes other federal decisions on public infrastructure; for example, Portland and New York have been forced to upgrade sidewalks and MTA stations, respectively, to provide equal access for residents with disabilities.
Disability rights advocates say companies can get ahead by prioritizing disabled access from the beginning of new programs, and Zehiri offers examples of what an accessible service might look like. One station in Portland, for example, offers help to riders who need to be lifted into bikes; in China, an electric bike model allows commuters to transport their wheelchairs.