This research was funded by PeopleForBikes and the Better Bike Share Partnership (a collaboration among the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), and PeopleForBikes, made possible by The JPB Foundation), and by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) under grant number 884, a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University and a U.S. Department of Transportation university transportation center.
Bicycle commuting, Transportation -- Social aspects, Bicycle sharing programs
The number of public bike share systems has been increasing rapidly across the United States over the past five to 10 years. To date, most academic research around bike share in the U.S. has focused on the logistics of planning and operationalizing successful systems. Investigations of system users and impacts on the local community are less common, and studies focused on efforts to engage underserved communities in bike share are rarer still. This report uses a survey of representatives from 56 U.S. bike share systems to better understand and document current approaches toward serving low-income and minority populations. The survey asked about equity policies and metrics, the degree to which equity considerations affected a variety of system practices, what the existing barriers to utilizing bike share are for target populations, and what challenges the bike share system faces in addressing those barriers. Results indicate nearly one in four systems, and nearly half of systems with over 500 bikes, have written policies around equity. Many more systems incorporate support of equity into various aspects of their operation. Equity considerations affect station siting, fee structure and payment systems, and promotion and marketing in a majority of systems (68%, 72%, and 57% respectively), and operations and data collection and analysis to a lesser extent (42% each). Systems reported cost, access, and outreach as the largest barriers to equity, in addition to overall funding and staff levels.
Howland, Steven, Nathan McNeil, Joseph Broach, Kenneth Rankins, John MacArthur, and Jennifer Dill. Breaking Barriers to Bike Share: Insights on Equity from a Survey of Bike Share System Owners and Operators. NITC-RR-884a. Portland, OR: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), 2017. https://doi.org/10.15760/trec.173