Focusing on Equity in New Mobility

Image: A young woman rides a Ford Go Bike in East Oakland. Photo Pamela Palma Photography
Shared mobility innovations can strengthen our communities and provide access to opportunity.

We want the benefits of bike share, car share, and other new shared mobility services to be enjoyed by those who need them most. Too often, people with disabilities, low-income residents, and communities of color have been excluded from safe and reliable transportation networks. As the tech sector comes up with mobility solutions, it’s important to understand whose problems they are trying to solve.

TransForm believes that our climate crisis stems from the consistent lack of priority we give to the needs of communities most impacted by climate pollution. As more affluent people return to urban areas, a number of big mobility problems arise:

  • Low-income families are struggling with high housing costs in transit-rich areas and fewer dollars for transportation.
  • Higher income residents use transit less and travel by car more.
  • Those displaced from transit-rich neighborhoods to suburbs need active transportation and transit options that can compete with personal car ownership.

This is our real climate crisis. And that’s why emerging mobility needs to refocus on the real mobility problems to help reverse this trend.

We believe people should play a central role in shaping the future of their communities. We partner with community-based organizations, cities and public agencies, and the private sector to bridge the gaps and connect people with shared mobility options.

  • We’ve had sustained engagement on bike share equity outreach in Oakland since before bike share rolled out around the Bay Area via Oakland Mobility (OakMob) 101.
  • TransForm teamed up with bicycle coalitions and community-based groups around the Bay as Bike Share for All, to spread the word about low-cost bike share memberships and other biking resources in communities that need more affordable transportation options. Discounted memberships made up 20% of all Ford GoBike memberships when our partners finished this outreach. This was a dramatic increase from the mere 3% of low-income riders on the system in 2014.
  • Together with our partners, we successfully advocated for the new Ford GoBike system to offer discounted memberships and cash payment options, integrate with Clipper card, and expand the location of bike share docks to serve more communities of color. Equity requirements are now the standard for companies wanting permits to operate micro-mobility.
  • Automated vehicles are on the horizon and TransForm is chiming in at the local, regional, and state levels to steer automation to the most equitable outcomes.

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