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Affordable, accessible transportation: Nonprofit provides free bikes to lower income residents

Affordable, accessible transportation: Nonprofit provides free bikes to lower income residents

Cola Town Bike Collective provides free bicycles and repairs to the community. Now, it’s fundraising to purchase a property. COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cola Town Bike…

Saturday, Aug 20

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Cola Town Bike Collective provides free bicycles and repairs to the community. Now, it’s fundraising to purchase a property. COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cola Town Bike Collective provides free bicycles to people without access to reliable, affordable transportation. The non-profit is now trying to raise money to purchase a building so it can continue serving Columbia residents.

Damien Brown is the newest owner of a bicycle from the bike collective.

"I just got a new bike and it’s fabulous," he said. "It’s gonna help me to get around, get to work, do what I need to do, plus get some exercise at the same time."

Cola Town Bike Collective Executive Director Scott Nuelken says reliable transportation is crucial. That’s why he started the nonprofit.

"Transportation is the most important thing no matter what," Nuelken told me. "If you’re living three, four, five miles away from work, or if you’re in a food desert and you’re a mile and a half, two miles from the closest grocery store, the only realistic way for folks to get around is by using a bicycle."

Damien Smith with MobileMidlands told me that buses aren’t always a great option.

"If you are unhoused or you’re working in a low income job, you know, buses can also be expensive," he explained.MobileMidlands is a group that partners with Cola Town Bike Collective to advocate for accessible and affordable transportation."For lower income folks, they don’t have the access of cars," Nuelken said. "I mean, a car costs a fortune. Not just the gas, but […]

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