With Uber and Lyft out of Austin, bike share steps in for some

by April Corbin, PeopleForBikes equity writer

Uber and Lyft may have bowed out of Austin due to new regulations, but Austin B-Cycle is going strong. And that is coming in handy for residents who want to take full advantage of the city’s bustling cultural scene.

Ernest Campos works at a restaurant in downtown Austin and lives in a nearby east side neighborhood. He owns his own personal bike but uses bike share just as frequently.

“Bike share gives people another option,” says Campos. “They don’t have to rely on the bus or one of the replacements for Lyft or Uber. They can just get on a bike and go.”

Campos believes frequenters to Austin’s “hot spots” and major events like South By Southwest already understand this. His hope is that more of the low-income residents in the community begin to see the benefits of bike share too.

While he was able to hear about Austin B-Cycle’s discounted membership program for low-income residents, he fears many of his peers are still in the dark and unable to take advantage.

“I don’t typically see a lot of people who have lived in the neighborhood a long time use the program,” says Campos, adding that it seems to be predominantly used by tourists and newcomers to his gentrifying neighborhood. “Bike share is still in its infancy here.”

But he sees the potential.

“I think it would really benefit the people who suffer from displacement,” says Campos. “Everyone is thinking about the same thing—How do we get home safely? How do we get there fast?”

The Better Bike Share Partnership is a JPB Foundation-funded collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and thePeopleForBikes Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter. Story tip? Write april@peopleforbikes.org