Want to...
Improve Public Transit?

How To ...

Build a common wealth with common wheels.

Portland, Ore. -- Round up some broken-down bicycles, fix them, paint them yellow, and leave them around town.

Who says you can't get a free ride? You just get on a bike, take it anywhere you want, enjoy it and then leave it for another person to use. Pollution is fading, solid waste is shrinking, and the fleet just keeps on rolling.

Common wheels building a common wealth ... Try it in your neighborhood.

Essential ingredients:
  • One-dozen scrap bikes.
  • Volunteers skilled in bike repair.
  • A few tools.
  • One-dozen kids to learn how to fix bikes.
  • Paint.
  • Green light from the city for a pilot program.

Contact ...

United Community Action Network
1951 W. Burnside
P.O. Box 1500
Portland, OR 97209

Tune In ...

Yellow Bikes: A Concept with Legs

Portland has banded together to give its residents a free ride, thanks to a Free Community Bike Program.

The program's Yellow Bikes are old bicycles -- good enough to ride, but not worth stealing -- fixed up and painted bright yellow at a local recycling center. The bikes are then left at busy intersections for pedestrians to pick up and ride. And when they're done, the riders leave the bike on the street for someone else to use. The honor system works!

Before the program, Portland thrift stores often scrapped 75 bikes each month. Now these bikes have a second life, and donations are helping the program reach its goal of 1,000 Yellow Bikes on city streets.

"It crosses all barriers," organizer Tom O'Keefe marvels. "I've seen everyone [on the bikes], from the suits and ties to the people heading down to the methadone clinic." The Community Cycling Center is now helping 50 other towns, colleges and even military bases to get their own programs started.

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