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Buffalo becomes the fourth city to have a bike-exchange program during COVID-19

File photo

The coronavirus has exposed many inequities and disparities that exist in our community, and among those is transportation. Now, more than ever, having a safe means of transportation to work, to get groceries, or assist relatives is important.

GObike Buffalo is trying to make sure that people who need a way around town, have one. GObike has created a new program which, as Outreach Director Rebecca Reilly describes it, acts as an “eHarmony for bikes,” connecting donors to people in need.

By filling out a simple form, people can either be matched to receive a bike, which they might use to get groceries or go to work, or to donate a bike that is currently in working condition. 

“We hope that people are not too shy in asking, because there are a lot of people who want to help out. And certainly, if you have a bicycle that is ready to go, and it’s maybe one more than you actually need, try to think about other folks that are actually trying to get to work or trying to get things done, and they’re required to use a bicycle because they don’t have another option," Reilly said.

Many of these bikes will go to people who have no other way of getting to their essential jobs, relatives or grocery stores.

“It’s your way of giving service workers and health workers a hug, without giving them a hug," Reilly said.

BikeMatchGOBFLO will be only the fourth program in the nation to take on connecting people to donated bikes during coronavirus. To learn more about the program, or to sign up to donate/receive a bike, click here

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.