National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs

National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs

Equity is a complex topic – is a bike share system equitable if bikes are available in all neighborhoods, if anyone who wanted to could afford to ride or have a membership, or only if ridership reflects the demographics of the city? In this report, we seek to identify ways for cities and bike share systems to have these conversations with meaningful data. The report is a resource to help cities navigate the range of actions that have been implemented to make bike share systems more equitable, examine successful strategies employed by other cities and systems, and understand how those systems are measuring and articulating their successes (and challenges).

Key findings

Small cities were much less likely to be actively working on addressing equity; less than half of the systems with fewer than 150 bikes had implemented any sort of equity effort. However, the vast majority of systems over that threshold are actively working to address equity, with 71 to 79% of systems having specific equity programs, and most of the rest having equity work infused in their efforts.

Of the 103 reported programs, 56% targeted low-income individuals, 34% targeted specific neighborhoods or geographic areas, 22% targeted specific racial or ethnic groups, 15% targeted people of all abilities, and 16% targeted other populations. “Other populations” included unbanked populations, people without smartphones or credit cards, and veterans or students.

Station locations, discounts and marketing were the most common approaches to facilitating equity, along with a mixture of approaches to education, engagement and facilitating sign-ups.

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