April's Awesome Ottawa award goes to Schuyler Playford and RightBike, a community bike share service operating in the Wellington West and Westboro areas. The award will allow RightBike to refurbish two hand-crank ("pedalled" by hand) bikes to add to its fleet, allowing people with mobility limitations to enjoy the urban bike share experience.
RightBike currently has a fleet of 65 purple bikes that were donated by the community, refurbished, and painted, and are available for public use for short trips in the neighbourhood. As an employment-based social enterprise managed by Causeway Work Centre, RightBike also provides training and creates jobs as bike mechanics and community ambassadors for people facing barriers to employment.
"RightBike provides an innovative and sustainable public good," says Schuyler. "We provide affordable access to bikes so that more people who live in, work in, and visit our neighbourhood can get around by bike – healthy, fun, and good for the planet! These hand-crank bikes," she goes on, "will also further our mission to support people to overcome disabilities and to minimize stigma, by making 'different' bikes familiar to everyone in the community."
To learn more about RightBike, visit http://www.rightbike.org.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (April 2013)