When Bike Share Pittsburgh realized the necessity of a full equipment replacement, one of the biggest questions that arose was: what do we do with all the leftover equipment? We'd seen this play out in other cities, and didn't want the Healthy Ride bikes to become scrap metal while they were still perfectly rideable. While some bike parts could be repurposed on the new POGOH bikes, the Healthy Ride bikes and station equipment could not. While the station equipment was sent back to nextbike for use in other nextbike cities and systems, there was no appetite for 7 year old bikes; especially during a time when the cost of international shipping was at a premium, and international trade conflicts made logistics a nightmare. Thus, we needed to find new homes for 500+ Healthy Ride bikes, and we wanted to prioritize getting them into the hands of those who couldn't afford a bike of their own.
We knew that managing individual donations would be incredibly difficult during such a big time of transition installing and launching POGOH, so in late November 2021 Bike Share Pittsburgh opened up an application process for area non-profits, services organizations, and schools to request retired Healthy Ride bicycles. We've worked with some incredible organizations over the years and are keenly aware of the need and appetite for bike donations. While we always try to find ways of keeping the bikeshare system affordable and convenient, it simply doesn't serve everyone in our region (yet!).
We received applications from 55 different organizations requesting a total of 1,550 bikes. While we weren't able to fill all of these requests due to the limited bike quantity, we selected 30 organizations and each received anywhere between 5 - 30 bikes. We selected organizations who served marginalized communities and were not financially benefitting from the bicycles. Since the bikes were donated, we wanted to be sure they would be offered to community members and programs free of charge.
Check out the list below to find out what organizations received bikes and how many they received:
|Sankofa Village Projects||15|
|Bloomfield Garfield Corporation||15|
|Communicycle Beaver County Inc||20|
|Kiski Area School District||15|
|Highland Park Community Council||15|
|Allegheny County Housing Authority||20|
|Casa San Jose||10|
|Operation Better Block||10|
|Arts Excursions Unlimited||20|
|Jewish Family and Community Services||15|
|Norwin School District||30|
|Burrell School District||25|
|Burrell School District||25|
|Ruach Bicycle Club||20|
|Light Of Life Rescue Mission||20|
|Pittsburgh Public Schools||30|
|The Black Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op||10|
|Red Lantern Bike Shop||30|
|Honeys Helping Hands Corp.||30|
|North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO)||20|
It took us nearly 8 months to distribute all of the bikes due to the logistics of transportation and the busy launch of POGOH, but in total, we were able to donate 570 retired Healthy Ride bikes to new homes. The bikes have helped build bicycling into high school gym classes, create free bike rental programs in underserved neighborhoods, support BIPOC bicycling organizations, and donate to individuals within the Pittsburgh region who are unable to afford their own bicycle. You can often see people riding around town on the old Healthy Ride bikes, which are only identifiable by their unique frame - we removed all of the advertising panels and branding. We love that they continue to be a resource for getting people on bikes.
Thank you to all of our partners, supporters, and team members who helped make the Recycle A Bicycle program a reality!