Beyond Equity — A Strategy for Developing Critical Leadership in Transportation

The End of NACTO & BBSP & Cities for Cycling Roundtable

by Farrah Daniel, Better Bike Share Partnership Writer

On June 15, the National Association of Transportation Officials (NACTO) and BBSP kicked off the third annual BBSP Bike Share and Cities for Cycling Roundtable. This year, the roundtable welcomed the host cities of Baltimore, MD; Alexandria and Arlington, VA; and Washington DC.

Due to COVID-19, things looked a little different this year — the roundtable went virtual! While it was a shift from previous years, 2020’s two-week virtual event still created plenty of space for city practitioners to “connect for a peer learning opportunity to discuss the changing landscape of shared micromobility, and explore how increased ridership might impact bike lane design and bike infrastructure,” writes NACTO.

Between the panels, interactive workshops and design exercises, participants walked away with “new tools and implementation techniques to build better bike networks, as well as brainstorm process changes and challenges for managing and regulating shared micromobility.”

Though the roundtable was only open to those working directly for cities (with the exception of two public events that welcomes everyone), BBSP regularly shared short recaps of what took place during the roundtable’s daily events — here’s the final recap. 

The Rest of Week 2

Public Webinar: Making the Case and Building Alliances 

Speaker: Sara Studdard, PeopleForBikes

The best advocates don’t always ride bikes. Building a safe, interconnected network of protected bike lanes depends on gaining the support of people and community groups who only occasionally bike or never bike at all. Consumer research commissioned by PeopleForBikes shows how to build a common value proposition among bike advocates and the wider public. 

The research not only illuminates where Americans stand on the issue but also how to move them toward greater investment by showing how bike infrastructure can help them accomplish a wide range of personal, social and economic goals. Participants were encouraged to use these insights to grow support in your community.

Check back soon for the recording of this webinar! 

Designing Lanes for Biking and Rolling 

Speakers:

Learn more about NACTO’s evolving resource, Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery. Hear directly from cities that have delivered their own version of bike and roll lanes and other bike-related projects since the pandemic. Check out the full recap here

The event also included an afternoon coffee break, where participants could join a video viewing discussion. Created by Rooted in Rights in Seattle, WA, the video addressed the diverse ways communities define, experience and use bikes and streets. Plus, all attendees were entered into a raffle for great prizes.

Check out the video by Rooted in Rights

Managing the Regulatory Environment 

From managing sponsorships and determining permit fees to mandating distribution requirements and programs for financial access, join us for a discussion and interactive exercise with peer cities on developing bike and scooter share regulations to tackle mobility goals. Check out the full recap here

The event also included a breakout session that allowed attendees to find solutions for complex scenarios. Here’s an example from room 1:

Breakout Room 1: Per-Trip vs. Per-Device Fee 

  • What are the pros and cons of each? Per-trip fees can help the companies mitigate risk; need to define “trip”; managing a trip fee is complex due to data quality
  • What questions might be raised as a result? Are companies hoarding permits? What are you hoping to fund with your fees?
  • What advice do you have for cities considering one or the other? Work backward from what you want to fund (i.e. software, an enforcement person); temporary permits can be a solution for special events; Oakland consolidated multiple costs into one to recover.

Public Webinar: From Ally to Accomplice: DEI in the Mobility Space

Speakers: Nina Idemudia, MUSE Community + Design, Romina Castillo, MUSE Community + Design

From Ally to Accomplice: How to actively use your power and privilege to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the mobility space.

Recently, many mobility professionals and advocates have had to come to grips with how their work within the built environment can help to perpetuate institutional racism and injustice. With this new revelation, it’s more important than ever to take an active role in dismantling systems that do not protect society’s most vulnerable communities. This workshop will pinpoint actions for how self-identified allies can leverage their power and privilege to create meaningful advancements towards diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organizations.

Check back soon for the recording of this webinar! 

Public Webinar: Discussion Space for Planners Of Color 

Speaker: Destiny Thomas, Thrivance Group

On behalf of NACTO and BBSP, Dr. Destiny Thomas convened a space to facilitate bonding, strategic responsiveness and professional development for practitioners that identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous or People of Color. This space encouraged fluidity in structure while also guiding participants through a series of action-oriented discussions. As the rest of the field is looking to develop an anti-racist posture, this space was held in honor of those who have carried the work of this field despite being subject to its harm. 

Please note: Due to the sensitive nature of this space, we will not be sharing the recording for this webinar. 

Office Hours: LIME Q+A

Speakers: Todd O’Boyle of Lime’s Government Relations Team, and Ashley Scott of Lime’s Senior Regulatory Council

Lime and JUMP recently completed an integration deal, meaning Lime purchased all the assets of JUMP — including bikes, hardware, permits, scooters and more. What does it mean for your city if both Lime and JUMP operate in your city? Simply that they’ll continue to run, but Lime will be the lead operator. With this move, Lime is now the largest multi-modal micromobility provider in the world. This cities-only presentation and Q+A with Lime discussed their recent merger with Jump, and what it really means for cities and the vulnerable populations who rely on shared micromobility.

Essentially, what I want to hone in on for this conversation is something that may be a bit taboo, but needs to be talked about as we talk about moving forward the needle in micromobility policy and its expansion, especially in a post-production world. We will Say the metrics and what we’ve seen since relaunching after initial city closures is that people are desiring open-air transportation or what we call social distancing, but social distance mode of transportation. cities like Milan and cities throughout the US during the time of city closures. also expanded bike lane infrastructure. So that means there’s a demand. So how can cities work with in partnership with micromobility operators to make sure that there is a supply for residents who are simply trying to move around the different arteries in their cities?” – Ashley Scott

Here are some interesting questions that arose during this actionable discussion:

Question: “Aside from the kind of fleet differences, are there other things that Lime would probably run differently with bike fleets or any considerations we should put in different types of permits where you see a huge difference between bikes and scooters?”

Answer from Todd: “What I would say is we have to look at the fees, right? Because we know — and I’ll go back here to the economics of this — the cost of the device and the number of trips that it’s going to yield, so we need bikes to be proportionately less. [For example], if they’re saying a 15-cent per trip fee on scooters, we need the bike fee to be zero or five, right? I think it’s an emerging industry best practice, but if there is a permit fee, the per-unit fee on the e-bike is going to need to be a third or quarter of the scooter fee. […] I think everybody agrees that they want to see bike share work; we’re right there with you. But we do need something akin to regulatory flexibility here on this point.” To end his statement, Scott says, “And just from a business perspective, it is very difficult to invest in a permit knowing the underlying product is going to lose money. And so I know this. This is not the easiest message to deliver, but I’d ask each of you guys to think as long and hard as you can about making bikes free.”

Question: What proportion of trips were taken through and what percentage of riders were signed up for Portland’s equity ridership program?

Question: At the moment, it seems that Lime is paying lip service to environmental goals and not coming close to fulfilling their potential to help address the Climate Emergency (and its inherent global equity emergency!). What are Lime’s plans to reduce lifecycle emissions for its fleet?

Some final and important thoughts:

  • Equity is seen as an add-on, rather than a core component of the program. Equity should be a core value.
  • One of the main issues around acceptance from certain communities in shared micromobility is that they often receive the resources last or as a second thought.
  • Having an equitable system should not be an option, but rather a responsibility to offering accessible transit to everyone
.
  • The roll-out of a system should be applied in a way that everyone can access your services.

— — — — —

Thank you for joining our first-ever virtual event! It’s been a pleasure sharing these last two weeks with you, and we hope you and your colleagues left with new ways to create more inclusive planning for communities of color and low-income communities. 

Stay tuned! Soon, we’ll share the videos featured by Baltimore’s Bike and Brunch Tours as well as Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy Collective – BYKE. In the meantime, check out how these incredible, bike-friendly organizations are uplifting their community.

And before you go, please take this survey to let us know how we did! What worked and what didn’t? We welcome all feedback. Plus, if you missed out on some of the sessions, check out the previous recaps:

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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 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 farrah@peopleforbikes.org.