Community Engagement brings Equity to East Bay Bike Share


Edie Irons, Communications Director. 510-334-1344 (cell), [email protected]

OAKLAND – An innovative series of workshops in Oakland are ensuring that plans to expand bike share and car share programs in the East Bay consider the needs of communities with the most limited transportation options.  The first Oakland Mobility 101 event (OakMob 101) happened at the beginning of October in East Oakland, and the second will take place at DeFremery park in West Oakland on Saturday, October 22. 

Thanks to a recent surge of investment by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Ford, and others, Oakland is becoming a hub for bike share and car share innovation. OakMob 101, organized by TransForm in partnership with the City of Oakland, represents a new approach to community outreach in order to ensure that bike share and car share are widely used throughout Oakland, including by low-income and transit-dependent communities.

“The key to bike share working in Oakland is focusing on equity and listening to the community’s needs first,” said TransForm Community Planner, Brytanee Brown. “We have to make sure these new shared mobility services aren't leaving behind Oakland’s low-income communities and communities of color. OakMob is a way to bring Oakland residents together, listen to their concerns, and include them early on in the planning process in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

The first OakMob 101 event was held on Saturday, October 1 at MLK Jr Library on International Boulevard in East Oakland. Nearly a dozen community organizations and companies came out to make the day a success, including AC Transit, Alameda County Registrar of Voters, Bike East Bay, Cycles of Change, Motivate, Uber, Getaround, Hope Collaborative, and the Scraper Bike Team.  The event also featured musical guests like DJ Muije and local saxophonist, KJ, who wrapped up the event with a jazzy rendition of Drake’s “Hotline Bling”. La Pupuseria provided lunch for the community.

Some of the most important work of the day came out of an activity called “My Route, My Oakland.” More than 20 Oakland residents drew maps detailing their daily transportation routines, which will be shared with the City of Oakland and shared mobility agencies to inform their planning as they move into new neighborhoods in Oakland. 

“I live deep in East Oakland, and I spend a lot of time driving and stuck in traffic,” said Kendra James, an East Oakland resident and mother of two who attended the event.  “But after the OakMob workshop, I realized I could do more by bike, and bike share would make that really convenient. I’m hoping to see bike share pods in East Oakland, not just downtown.”

OakMob 101 represents a new approach to community engagement in transportation planning.   It has inspired Motivate, the company that runs Bay Area Bike Share, to offer low-income memberships at $5 for the first year after rolling out bike share and redefine how they conduct community outreach. MTC has signaled their support for this approach by investing significantly in bike share equity outreach.


See more information about OakMob 101 in West Oakland.

For more information on TransForm’s work on equity in shared mobility, visit our website.

TransForm is California's leading advocate for great transportation choices and walkable, affordable communities. TransForm has offices in Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose.