Voc-Rehab Transportation aid can be applied to bikes?
Hi guys and gals,
I wasn't sure exactly where to post this so here goes. I'm going to have a appointment with the Colorado state VR tomorrow and since I've heard that VR offers some transportation aid such as gas card and whatnot. Since the bike are generally considerred a vehicle under the state law, should I be able to apply for something like vehicular maintanence aid?
I'm carfree and do not have much money to pay in the way of repairs and replacements (both of my main bikes need a new rear wheel, one is bent and one have too many broken spokes) but despite the damage the bikes is my main mode of transporation. I'm just a bit curious to see if this is even possible cause if it is, then it would help relieve a whole lot of stress of being able to keep my bike in shape enough to ride as much as I want/need. If this is possible, should i try to explains how helping me to get bike tools and to replace some components would be cheaper than approximately a month worth of gas card (just a guess) and keep the bike functioning longer?
I'm just not sure at all of this situation and would like to see if anybody around here knows of anything related to this or of any laws that may or may not help me with this.
P.S. I'm a bit inexperienced with this sort of thing but if it is possible then I need to do my best to get it.
Laid back bent rider
Well, you're dealing with a government agency, so anything not in their personal experience or covered by "the book" will be a tough sell. That being said, however, I would think that if you can provide evidence that the bike is your primary/only means of transportation, you'd have a case. If you live on/near a bus route, that may be tough as they would probably consider that before the bike.
I used to work for a company that was enrolled in a program to encourage commuting. If I biked 4 days a week, I got $40/month in commuter bucks. I could only use them at specific places, but one of those places was REI. I got most of my gear from REI while I was enrolled in that program. Maybe they can do something like that. Their biggest issue is likely to be giving you a direct check, since they can't insure that you'll spend it on transportation needs.
I would love to work for a company that promotes commuting like that but I'm currently unemployed and it is a bit tough to find a job within stores like REI and whatnot since I'm deaf and my lack of communication could be perceived as a big enought impediment to not be hired despite ADA law.
Originally Posted by unixpro
I do live near a bus route but I wonder if I could find some official info that biking would be faster and more reliable than the bus (it have been in my experience though the metro in this city is the best i've ever seen) and use that to dissuade that "Avoidance" of the bike coverage. I do find that for jobs, biking is faster than bus in most cases since, despite the bus route being spread all over town, they do not stop near enought to most potential job I know of. Also in some cases, I've beaten the bus on the bus route to places such as the mall a bit north of my home on top of a steep rise.
Proof of using bike as a main mean of transportation should be very easy since my last employer (the taco bell down the road) knows about it and the very fact that I can't even afford some of the neccessary repair on a comparatively inexpensive vehicle (bikes) should tell volumes about me not being able to afford motorized vehicles and all of the excessive cost that goes with it.
About the direct check thing, would it be a good idea to suggest that instead of a check, I would be provided with a gift card or certificates that are only good at certain bike stores such as my fave LBS "Old Town Bike Shop" (I think they do offers them) or possibly stores like the REI.
Mini-update: Just went to the local cycling club meeting for the first time and met up with the guest speaker there. he is involved with a state-wide advocacy program which includes their site, www.bicyclecolorado.org. He agrees that if the VR do offers transportation aids for motorized vehicles for things such as gas and mantaniences, I should be qualified for some of that aid for my bike. He gave me his business card in case I was refused these aid without any good reason, like "a bicycle is not a vehicle" argument or the bike is a toy argument or whatever they may think that doesn't seems fair to me. I just feel that they should help provides aid for bicycle riders since there are many homeless and low income people around (well I see more of them here than anywhere else so far) that depends on bicycle to get around.
Oh about that bus route thing, there is a flaw with that. while every metro bus have a front bike rack, there are times when I can't board the bus with my bike since the rack is full. If I don't have a motorized vehicle and have to depends on the bus, I just can't risk missing any postential job due to this shortcoming. (Notes: while some of the racks can hold 3 bikes, most of them are of different design which can only hold 2 and are more likely to be filled out)
P.S. on a lighter note, If I ever do get the help with purchasing bike repairs and other accessories for it, I would LOVES to have the jersey being offered by the site above. I saw it in person yesterday and really liked the design of it I may just save up for it as my first jersey as a goal of my weight loss (lost 20 pound down to 190, still have some fat on my torso to get rid of first, approximately 5-7 lb i think)