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Elgin Community Bikes

Parker Thompson, Organizer
Photo Credit: Rick West, Daily Herald

Our project seeks to address some of the current inequities in Elgin’s transportation systems. Our inadequate public transportation system and car-dependent built environment serve to further disadvantage those of us with physical or cognitive impairments and low to no incomes, as well as increase environmental hazards to those of us who live within the city limits.  

Elgin Community Bikes exists to organize for more equitable access to opportunities in Elgin, including housing, education, employment, healthcare, food, and social connection using the bicycle and active transportation. We use bicycles, bike rides, and now, our bike shop, as ways of both building human infrastructure and alleviating the hardship from our inequitable transportation systems.  

Through this grant we will support our pay-what-you-can bicycles sales and repair service model, a function of our bike shop, which seeks to reduce the economic barriers to using bicycles as an inequity overcoming mobility tool.  

Our pay-what-you-can model provides access to bicycles and repair service within the community for those who could not otherwise afford them. We are able to keep our costs low by receiving donated bicycles as well as utilizing new and used bicycle components. In a relationship-oriented process, we provide bicycles or service for what someone says they can pay, rather than introducing barriers, such as income documentation. With Elevating Equity’s support we will scale this model into a sustainable program of our community bike shop. 

Learn more about Elgin Community Bikes here.

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