Learn about our #BikeMatch program and hear from one of our recipients.
We’re proud to say that we have one of the most successful #BikeMatch programs in the nation. Already, we’ve matched 10 people in New Orleans with a bike of their own.
In the midst of this pandemic, people need healthy and accessible ways to move around our city, like bikes. Today, riding a bike isn’t only a joy, for many it’s essential. We’re honored to support our community by matching donated bikes with those in need.
We want to give you some background on how we saw a rising need in our community and started our #BikeMatchNOLA program. But first, if you have a bike to donate or need a bike to get around, click here to fill out our #BikeMatchNOLA form.
#BikeMatch is an effort that took off across the country in response to COVID 19. At the beginning of the pandemic, public transit, bike share, and ride share options were severely affected. Frontline workers needed to get to work, and everyone needed to get to the grocery store, but suddenly transportation options were limited.
Our friends at Transportation Alternative in New York City then had a great idea: start a mutual aid program for bikes. Those in need could request a bike, and others could donate bikes. It was a huge success, and they created a platform to spread the service across the country.
New Orleans had a particular need for a #BikeMatch program. Blue Bikes stopped operations, the RTA limited service, many lost their jobs in the service and hospitality industry, and of course our neighbors working in hospitals faced obstacles they’d never imagined. We launched our #BikeMatchNOLA program in late April and to date have been one of the most successful efforts in the nation!
We’re only able to have so much success thanks to people donating their bikes! If you have a bike that you’d like to donate please visit our #BikeMatch page.
We love seeing our numbers tick up, but* nothing is near as rewarding as making a match and seeing someone light up when they receive their bike.* Here’s one of our favorite #BikeMatch stories.
At the beginning of our program, Edward, one of our dedicated volunteers, let us know he had a friend interested in donating a bike that needed some repairs. We repaired the bike and then matched the bike with Courtney.
Though we didn’t realize it at first, it was the same Courtney that worked next door to Bike Easy for years. Courtney works for RIDE New Orleans, advocating for improved transit in the region. With the RTA limiting their services, Courtney needed a way to get groceries and also hoped to start biking for exercise.
She was very thankful for the match and we were glad to see the nice vintage bike go to a close neighbor. In fact, when we rode the donated bike across town, we found that we were dropping it off just a couple of blocks from where we had initially picked it up!
We asked Courtney about her experience and what this #BikeMatch meant to her. Here’s her response:
“I reached out to BikeEasy for a #BikeMatch in June. I’m normally transit reliant but with COVID19 taking its toll on our transit system it became clear that I would need additional support getting my essential items and appointments taken care of safely. Along with taking care of essentials I also wanted to keep up with exercise and having a bike would allow me to do that while also keeping socially distant. Having the transit system for my longer journeys and bike for the more accessible ones ensures that I can take care of everything I need safely during this time. Thank you!”.
We’re proud of how successful our #BikeMatch program has been here in New Orleans, but we know there’s still more people in our community who need a bike.If you’re one of those people or have a bike to donate, fill out our #BikeMatchNOLA form today.