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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Adaptive Bike Rental Pilot FAQ


What is the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project?

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is developing this adaptive bicycle pilot project to increase access, especially to Portlanders with disabilities, to bicycling.

The project is a partnership with existing bike rental businesses to offer the rental of adaptive bicycles, like handcycles, trikes, and tandems. The focus is on short to medium-length bicycle rentals, of one to three hours.

How did the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project come about?

In 2016, PBOT received two requests for physical accommodation with the launch of its BIKETOWN bike share system. Out of those requests PBOT started to conduct outreach, beginning with Wheel Connect (an event sponsored by Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection), the annual Adaptive Bicycle Clinic, and INCIGHT’s Summer HandCycling Series. PBOT staff interviewed a number of people with disabilities about their interest in an adaptive bicycle rental service.

The people interviewed almost universally expressed a desire and/or need for a staffed service; storage for personal mobility devices; and a desire to ride on multi-use paths or trails. Therefore, the pilot concept was developed to partner with existing bike rental businesses located on or in close proximity to multi-use trails. PBOT is refining this concept through its spring 2017 public involvement process.

When will the Pilot Project take place?

The project is planned to launch in late June/early July 2017 and run through the summer.

Who helped form the concept?

The pilot project was developed by the community. The initial concept was developed out of one-on-one interviews at events like Wheel Connect and the Summer Handcycle Series. However, the broader concept has been developed by input from the online Community Survey and the Adaptive Bicycle Work Group, which is composed of community members with disabilities and nonprofit and agency staff working on disability issues.

What is the budget for the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project?

The total budget for the entire pilot project phase, including the purchasing the bicycles is $30,000.

Who is paying for the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project?

The pilot project is paid for by PBOT’s General Transportation Revenue funds

General Concept

How does the program work?

The general concept of the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project is to partner with a few existing bike shops to rent adaptive bicycles.

What are adaptive bicycles?

Bicycles that are made to accommodate people with various abilities and disabilities. For the pilot project the Work Group is considering a number of types of adaptive bicycles, including handcycles, tricycles, and tandem bicycles.

Rental Process Details

How do you rent a bicycle?

Below is the general rental process for the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project:

          Step 1: Make a Reservation online

          Step 2: 1st time assessment at the bike shop to build a Rider Profile

          Step 3: 1st Ride

          Step 4: Online Reservation (for bike) OR Drop-in

          Step 5: Ride

*Note – After the 1st ride (with assessment) user can either reserve a bike online or drop-in to rent a bicycle 

What services are part of the pilot?

The following are services that are part of the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project:

Short term (about 1 to 3 hours) adaptive bike rental.

Fitting for the available adaptive bikes.

Bike helmet rental (included with bike rental).

Mobility device storage during rental time.

Crate storage of service animal during rental time. 

What services are not part of the pilot?

The following are services that are not part of the Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project:

Transfer from mobility device to adaptive bike (i.e., users will need to do so on their own or with the assistance of friend, family and/or caregiver).

Emergency pick up (e.g., if user cannot return to the bike shop on their own) 

Additional Program Elements

Is there an age restriction for use of the adaptive bicycles?

Users must be 18 years old or accompanied by an adult.

What is the cost to rent an adaptive bicycle in the pilot project?

The exact rental price is to-be-determined. The feedback provided so far through the online community survey suggests a comfort with a rental price of $5-$10 an hour. There is also consideration of a discounted rental price for people who are eligible for the TriMet Honored Citizens pass.

What is the connection to BIKETOWN?

The Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project grew out of accommodation requests at the launch of the BIKETOWN bike share program in 2016. The pilot project is an unique program nationally, and is intended to operate as a stand-alone project for the time being. However, there will be co-promotion through the BIKETOWN web site and other material.

Will BIKETOWN staff operate this program?

No, this pilot project will be managed by PBOT staff, in partnership with contracted bike shops.

I’m a member of BIKETOWN, can I use adaptive bikes as part of my membership?

No, at this time, during the pilot project you cannot use your BIKETOWN membership to rent the adaptive bicycles. During the evaluation of the pilot project, staff will look at future opportunities for integration.

What bike shops are involved in the pilot?

The partner bicycle shops are to-be-determined. Some bike shops have attended the Adaptive Bicycle Workgroup meetings.

How can I stay up-to-date?

You can learn more about PBOT’s adaptive bike rental project at, where you can also sign-up for email updates about the project.

If you have specific questions, please contact Steve Hoyt-McBeth, or 503-823-7191.