Video series: How can bike share work better for marginalized LA residents?

by Stefani Cox

MCM bike share video series_600

A new video series by Multicultural Communities for Mobility asks whether bike share professionals are doing enough for equity.

The videos examine various obstacles to bike share accessibility, and the big questions that practitioners will have to tackle in order to make systems relevant to low-income users. While the series focuses on Los Angeles, the discussion points are applicable to many places throughout the U.S.

“I’m really passionate about speaking up about displacement,” said Río (who preferred to go by first name), in a recent interview.  Río is the Active Transportation Coordinator at MCM, and spearheaded the video series development. “It’s more than being displaced geographically, it’s also culturally. Day laborers see bike share and think, ‘That’s not for us, that’s for tourists.’ So there’s a psychological displacement happening, especially when the community is not involved.”

Río also expressed concern about how the system can be truly useful to undocumented residents in Los Angeles and workers who have to carry tools and equipment to their jobs. Río notes that many such residents asked for better bus service when being engaged on bike share topics, suggesting a need to allocate more funding to transit connectivity in addition to bicycle-oriented outreach.

Learn more through each video in MCM’s series. Each video is only one-minute long to encourage shareability:

1) Bridging gaps

2) Law enforcement

3) Displacement

4) Access

5) Funding sources

6) East Los Angeles expansion

7) Street talk

8) Moving the equity wheel forward

“The reason we chose one minute is that we know people’s time span is low,” said Río. “I’m hoping we can engage people in a conversation and dialogue around solutions. Bike share is not always on the top of the list for people to worry about, but bike share needs to be held to high standards. Public funding is going into bike share, so the public needs to be engaged. Let’s see what solutions we can move.”

The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by The JPB Foundation as a collaborative between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes 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