Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer
Bike sharing needs transportation equity, and transportation equity needs bike sharing.
If bike sharing systems can’t be useful to almost everyone, they won’t be able to justify the modest public subsidies they usually require. But if bike sharing can be brought to scale in America, it has huge promise. Not only does bike sharing extend the reach and usefulness of mass transit; just as a car-sharing membership is cheaper than owning a car, a bike-sharing membership can be even cheaper than owning a bicycle.
Here on PeopleForBikes.org over the last few months, my colleague April Corbin has gone after this subject with a nutcracker. She’s shared great ideas from a series of marketing focus groups in Philadelphia and a master’s thesis in the Upper Midwest; she’s taken us behind the scenes of CitiBike’s innovative mechanic training program; she’s looked at what’ll be the country’s first e-assist bike share system, in Birmingham, from the perspective of transportation equity.
It’s all part of the Better Bike Share Partnership led by the City of Philadelphia and involving other partners around the country, including the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
Now, we’re proud to announce the launch of BetterBikeShare.org, a website that’ll combine April’s reporting with NACTO’s crack research and information about a series of grants that are helping bike share systems around the country build new best practices.
It’s a great-looking new site, and we hope it’ll help prompt many more conversations that’ll make the country’s newest category of public transportation everything it needs to be. Take a look, and follow the Better Bike Share Partnership on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr to keep up with this rapidly advancing field.