The VeloPlus wheelchair bike for the bike sharing system (photo: VVV Essen)
Pilot program bicycle sharing system Van Raam wheelchair transport bike VeloPlus
Because the municipality of Essen in Flanders considers it important that everyone can experience Essen outdoors, it bought an electric wheelchair bike VeloPlus. This way, wheelchair users can also enjoy a beautiful bike ride through the beautiful green municipality. Essen is the first municipality in Flanders where, in cooperation with G-sport Vlaanderen (G-sport Vlaanderen vzw is the platform to support and promote G-sport in Flanders. In Flanders they also call sport for persons with a disability G-sport), a pilot program of this free of charge wheelchair transport bike for everyone (both tourists and people from Essen) has started.
Brigitte Van Aert, alderman for Sport, Tourism, Health and G-policy, told the newspaper De Echo: "A wheelchair user is limited in his mobility. These people also have the right to enjoy a relaxing bike ride. We are very proud to be able to start this as a pilot municipality for the whole of Flanders".
There is a cooperation with residential care centre Sint-Michaël, where the wheelchair bike will also be placed. The employees of the residential care centre are ready to assist the cyclists. The residents of this residential care centre can also use the wheelchair bicycle. The pilot program will take two years, but the bicycle will remain in Essen municipality after this period. After that G-Sport Flanders hopes to introduce the system in several Flemish municipalities.