Project: Philadelphia Bikeshare Program

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What it does: 

Bike share is a network of self-service bicycles available at any time that allows individuals to ride from one bike station to another at a convenient and affordable price. The City of Philadelphia's Bike Share Program, "Indego," stands out as it launched its program with an equity commitment to provide bike share to all income levels and diverse backgrounds – a commitment that other bikeshare programs do not all share.

Goals: 

With equity at the forefront, Indego aims to provide bike share at convenient locations and to support affordable prices for everyone. Additionally, Indego supports the Mayor's goal to make Philadelphia the greenest and most sustainable city across the nation by taking cars off the road to reduce Philadelphia's carbon footprint. An overarching goal of this program is to create a replicable model for other cities to use as a standard for incorporating equity into bikeshare.

Cost & Financing: 

Funding for the program comes from the state, foundation, and private sources. Specific funding sources include Better Bikeshare Partnership's $3 million, Transportation Alternative Program's $1.5 million towards building the stations, and Independence BlueCross's multimillion contract to be distributed over the next few years.

Outcomes: 

Philadelphia Bikeshare specifically allocated twenty of the sixty initial bike share stations to low income neighborhoods where 50%+ of households live at or below 150% of the poverty level and/or median household income is at or below 80% of Philadelphia median household income. Those twenty bike share stations are estimated to serve 32% of residents of the Center City, University center, and adjacent neighborhoods that live below the poverty line will be served. To reduce common barriers to bikeshare for low-income individuals, the program is paid month-to-month and membership can be bought at local businesses with cash.

Outreach is a key component contributing to the success of the program. To successfully outreach the entire community, Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), the Mural Arts Program, and program artist Eurhi Jones created bike share artwork placed at potential stations, inviting passersby to ask questions about stations and bikeshares. Additionally, MOTU reached out to five business associations, community development corporations, and business improvement districts for public comment.

Since its launch in spring 2015, over 180,000 trips have been taken.

Indego is one of many bikeshare programs National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is studying in part of their ‘Practitioners’ Paper’ series, a collection of best practices for cities to better incorporate equity in bikeshare programs.

Key Contacts: 

Name Organization Phone Number E-mail
Carniesha Kwashie Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities (215) 686-5493 carniesha.kwashie@phila.gov
Katie Monroe Greater Bikeshare of Philadelphia Coalition (215) 242-9253 EXT 310 katie@bicyclecoalition.org

Carniesha is the Social Equity Program manager at the city of Philadelphia and Katie Monroe is the Outreach Manager who focuses on outreach to the community.

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Last Updated 9/2/15 | Written by Mimi Tam