The Better Bike Share Partnership has awarded 15 challenge grants to support cities in varying efforts to improve the equity of bike share. There has been a particular focus on increasing participation among lower-income groups. Similar programs in a number of other cities have aimed at engaging lower-income communities in bike share have also been implemented. The efforts have ranged from outreach conducted by the city and/or bike share operator, to innovative payment schemes, discounted pricing, education programs, marketing, community-based programming, and more. Both the focus on addressing equity in bike share and many of the programs and strategies deployed to do so are relatively new. As such, few resources discuss the menu of options, strategies and approaches, or the means of defining and measuring success for each of these efforts.
The project team surveyed bike share programs around the country about what their approach was, what metrics for success they used (or would use in the future), how they rate their success, and how valuable the investment was (and if they would do it again that way), among other questions. The project aimed to mine the collective experience and wisdom of BBSP grant recipients and other systems with equity programs for lessons learned (positive and negative), along with their recommendations and plans. The final deliverable will be a catalog of equity approaches employed by cities, as well as an aggregated summary of key elements of each approach or strategy. Findings include for various outreach techniques, payment and pricing plans, station siting, and marketing.
This technology transfer project will take key findings from the assessment and create outreach material to inform bikeshare system operators of best practices and lessons learned related to integrating equity. Findings from the assessment will be supplemented with examples of programs, measures and planned improvements from members of a technical advisory committee (TAC). We are envisioning ten 2-page briefs on program elements being developed. Since data collection and measurement of outcomes is an area that we have observed to be needed (both through survey responses and through interviews with bike share operators and cities), strategies and suggested protocols for measuring each of the program elements will be developed, in consultation with the TAC, and included in the briefs.
Potential proposed program elements are data collection, metrics, equity policies, membership programs (discounts, cash-pay, etc.), outreach methods, workforce development, transit integration, partnering (e.g. with community-based organizations), adaptive bicycle programs, emerging devices (e-scooters and e-bikes), station siting, ambassador program, targeting specific groups (seniors, women, youth, non-english language, etc).