'Rickshaws' for seniors coming to Bayfield and Goderich, Ont.
BAYFIELD, ONT. -- Doris Manley got the inaugural ride in Bayfield’s newest mode of transportation.
“Feels great. I’m pretty sure once he gets the motor running, it’ll move pretty easy, but it was a very good ride with him pushing,” says the Bayfield senior.
The 96-year-old is the target demographic for Bayfield’s trishaws. The three-wheeled, person-powered contraption will soon be available for seniors to book, for free, to make trips around town.
“We have a booking system online that will allow for volunteers to book and match them with the riders. We hope to be up and running when the good weather arrives, when all this lockdown business is over with. We’re getting ready,” says Joseph Rapai, who is part of the team that brought the trishaw to Bayfield.
Rapai helped purchase the $8,700 trishaw for Bayfield, and is hoping local service groups and businesses will help sponsor and staff the new mode of transport.
“I have been shut in this whole last year because of the lockdowns,” says Manley. “I haven’t been able to get out, so it would be a wonderful thing to be able to get out and around on."
A seniors' rickshaw is also coming to Goderich this summer, purchased and staffed by local volunteers.
“This is not a tourist thing. This for our seniors,” says Goderich Mayor John Grace.
“I think it’s unique. I’m really happy it’s in Bayfield. I hope it spreads around the province more. There are some centres in southwestern Ontario that have it, but I’d like to see more affiliates where seniors have been locked in,” says Rapai.
The trishaws or rickshaws for seniors are popular in Europe, and are part of the Cycling Without Age organization, founded in Denmark in 2012.
There are 3,700 similar bikes in use across the world in 51 countries.