Better Bike Share Conference raises diverse voices, equity strategies

by April Corbin, PeopleForBikes equity writer

Bike share is so much more than a collection of docking stations and bicycles.

Last month, the Better Bike Share Partnership hosted the Better Bike Share Conference in Philadelphia. More than 100 city officials, bike share operators, community-based organizers and non-profit professionals convened to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie at the intersection of transportation and equity. The result was a confirmation that bike share is an essential tool for cities—one that can (and is) bringing people closer to their communities, to opportunities, to art, to culture, and to mental and physical wellbeing.

Sessions ranged from technical topics like how bike share systems can offer cash payment options and how to correctly measure equity efforts, to programmatic ideas like how bicycles can be used to enhance mental health and the role workforce development plays in building community trust. Attendees also hopped on Indego bike share and participated in mobile workshops on how to use bike share to increase access to local parks and the arts.

Ink Factory captured the spirit of six sessions with a “graphic recording.” Click here to view them. Resources and presentations that were available at the conference will also be uploaded to the Better Bike Share Partnership website soon, so check back for those. In the weeks to come, the Better Bike Share blog will also highlight many of the stories and voices featured during the conference.

Operators and advocates said they left with new ideas about issues like fare structure and street team setups that they would quickly adopt in their hometowns.

Thanks to all who participated, attended or supported this endeavor. The Better Bike Share Conference was made possible by the Better Bike Share Partnership, a JPB Foundation-funded collaboration between The City of Philadelphia, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation.

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