The photo: Team SDOT, EACS, and Superpedestrian soon after completing the distribution at New Holly Housing and Community Center. Photo credit to Mulki Mohamed of Runta News.
Seattle Department of Transportation, East African Community Services, and Superpedestrian partner to distribute 100 free bikes to BIPOC youth
By Marian Ali
Seattle (August 3, 2021) – The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is partnering with East African Community Services (EACS) and Superpedestrian to distribute 100 bikes to middle and high school students. On August 3, the three organizations will hand out free bikes and related gear to a pre-selected group of middle and high school youth based primarily in the New Holly community in Rainier Valley and served by East African Community Services.
East African Community Services helps East African immigrant and refugee families in South Seattle and South King County to achieve success from infancy to adulthood. This event is part of a larger partnership effort between the SDOT and East African Community Services to engage with young people and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities about traffic safety, active transportation, and what it means to feel safe traveling in Seattle. We’re aiming to reduce inequities in access to active transportation as well as racial disparities when it comes to who is affected by traffic crashes. Through this work, we’re also focused on investing in BIPOC youth to lead by applying their experiences and creativity to transportation safety education efforts.
“SDOT, East African Community Services, and Superpedestrian are making it possible for young people to get on a bike and ride safely in our community,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Providing bikes allows BIPOC youth a sense of independence while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our free ORCA program and community projects like this exemplify Seattle’s commitment for everyone to have access to multiple safe transportation options.”
The bikes were donated to East African Community Services by Superpedestrian, the company that runs LINK scooters, one of the four scooter companies that operate as part of SDOT’s Scooter Share program.
“EACS is invested in creating opportunities for active and healthy lifestyles within the East African communities of South Seattle,” said Amir Noir Soulkin, Development Director with East African Community Services. “We are grateful to Superpedestrian and SDOT for making today’s event possible. One hundred beautiful youth will receive free bikes.”
“We’re honored to work with the Seattle Department of Transportation on their Vision Zero initiative to donate 100 bicycles to children in partnership with Seattle’s East African Community Services,” said Assaf Biderman, Founder and CEO of Superpedestrian, operator of LINK scooters. “At Superpedestrian, we work to make micromobility accessible to all people. We are proud to serve our Seattle community, to work closely with SDOT, and to give everyone the ability to move around the city in an easy, safe, and sustainable way.”
SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program is supplying the helmets, bike locks, and front and rear lights for each bicycle so the youth who receive bikes will be well-equipped to ride safely.
“We’re excited to bring together East African Community Services and Superpedestrian to form this partnership of public, private, and non-profit organizations,” said Sam Zimbabwe, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation. “Together, we will create more opportunities for BIPOC youth to get where they need to go, and work toward our goal of making all of our communities safe and accessible.”
This partnership is part of Seattle’s Vision Zero initiative, aimed at ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. In addition to lowering speed limits and redesigning streets to reduce crashes, we’re committed to engaging with community organizations to expand the reach of information and resources. Together, we can cultivate a culture of empathy and respect for one another so everyone can feel safe and comfortable traveling Seattle’s streets. Learn more about Vision Zero at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.