#BikeMatchMacon Helps Get Bikes to Macon-Bibb County Residents Who Need Them During COVID-19

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Launched by Bike Walk Macon and Re-Cycle Macon, #BikeMatchMacon is modeled after a successful program in New York City. The program will match donated bikes with community members who apply to receive one.

Designed to provide bicycles to those in need of solitary transportation methods, #BikeMatchMacon allows people with extra, ready-to-ride bicycles to offer up their bikes in a central database using a simple online form. Similarly, people who are in need of a bicycle for commuting to an essential job, running critical errands, or helping with local relief efforts can express their need via the same database. Bikes get matched to people, and the exchange is made via a contact-free process in a public location.

“Community members have reached out to us to see how they can contribute during the coronavirus pandemic,” says Rachel Umana, executive director of Bike Walk Macon. “This program will allow Maconites who have an extra bike that is not being used to make a positive impact by giving it to someone who truly needs it right now for personal transportation.”

All donated bikes must be in safe, working order and must be cleaned to proper precautionary sanitary condition before handoff to the new owner. In order to maintain sanitary protocols, each donation is a permanent transfer of ownership of the bicycle.

“Transportation is a major factor in many people’s lives,” says Re-Cycle Macon program director, Rachelle Wilson. “Access and reliability to safe transportation is already a daily struggle for some residents in our community. Add to that the risks of close personal contact generated by COVID-19, and suddenly people are having to choose between a crowded commute to work and recommended safety measures. This program is a way to help bridge the gap for those who need an alternative to car-pooling or other risky methods of commute.”