MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KMSP) - Nearly 1,200 perfectly good bikes get left behind every year on Metro Transit buses. Instead of throwing them to the scrap yard or letting them gather dust, a local organization restores them to help others afford their own bike.
These bikes are usually strapped to the front of Metro Transit buses and forgotten when their owner gets off at their stop. Once a month, a truck comes by from the organization to claim those bikes.
“We don't have the space to house hundreds of hundreds of bikes,” Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said. “We're able to return them to their owner about half the time, but that leaves us about 600 bikes that are looking for a home themselves.”
The home is an organization called Cycles for Change. Their mission is to build a diverse and empowered community of bicyclists.
"If transportation is say a hurdle for getting to a job or to a job interview or to school, we want to be able to provide that link,” Jeff Lathrop, service manager at Cycles for Change, said.
Once the unclaimed bikes make it back to the shop, volunteers get to work. Some bikes will be sold, some will be given away, and others loaned out.
“We loan out a bike for the season, we give you a light, lock helmet, we really try and make you a sustainable cyclist,” Lathrop said.
And in the end, everyone gets a bike they otherwise couldn't afford -- a bike that was once forgotten.
***If you need to claim a bike that’s been left on the racks of a Metro Transit bus, call (612) 373-3333 and press option 3 for lost and found***