Applications Are Now Open for BBSP’s Living Lab Cities Program!

by Farrah Daniel, Better Bike Share Partnership Writer

A group of people on Indego e-bikes smile and wave Photo courtesy of Indego

The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. The partners include The City of Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation.

This year, BBSP is launching the Living Lab program, an initiative to support, showcase and learn lessons from four cities, in addition to the City of Philadelphia, that are addressing a key barrier to access to and use of shared micromobility in low-income and communities of color. Living Labs will build on the work of Philadelphia — the first BBSP Living Lab city — and many others by piloting, expanding, replicating or scaling strategies and tactics related to a specific issue or barrier.

The PeopleForBikes Foundation, as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership, is inviting proposals from partnerships of cities, bike share operators and community-based organizations for the Living Lab program.

Living Lab Guidelines

As an example, Philadelphia and the Indego system have changed and refined their Community Ambassador program in the years since the system’s launch in 2015. The best practices and resources developed from this process and program have informed other Ambassador programs, and the Philadelphia team has presented and provided technical assistance to many colleagues.

The Living Lab program will replicate this model for other topic areas, which may include:

  • Workforce development
  • Transit integration
  • Multiple shared-use mobility options
  • Data and evaluation
  • Small- to mid-sized city models

Living Lab cities will receive:

  • Grant funding of $200,000 over the course of this 2.5-year grant (January 2021 to June 2023)
  • Technical support
  • Scholarships and travel stipends for program leads to present at relevant conferences and convenings
  • Opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned with others in the field

BBSP will not fund:

  • Bike share stations, bicycles, scooters or equipment related to the function of the shared micromobility system
  • On-street infrastructures such as bike lanes or paths
  • General operating costs
  • Programming related to micromobility systems that have not yet launched

Eligible Applicants:

  • BBSP will grant to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or to city or county government offices.
  • BBSP does not support for-profit companies.
  • BBSP does not support programs or entities outside the U.S.

Living Lab City Requirements:

  • A minimum match of 10%, or $20,000, over the life of the grant is required. The match may be cash, in-kind, or a combination of both.
  • Lead applicants and partners (as appropriate) will participate in bi-weekly check-ins with BBSP program manager
  • Lead applicants and partners (as appropriate) will participate in monthly Living Lab group check-in calls
  • Living Lab partners will collaborate with the BBSP writer to share stories, successes and lessons learned with the broader BBSP audience and respond promptly to all requests for interviews, updates or related materials


→ August 24, 2020: RFP for Living Lab program released
→ September 10, 2020 Q&A session: 11:00 am PDT/2:00 pm EDT — register here!
→ October 23, 2020: Proposals due
→ November/December 2020: Calls with applicants and partners (as needed)
→ January 4, 2021: Living Lab cities announced
→ January 2021: Kickoff event for Living Lab city leads
→ January to March 2021: Assessment and measurement plan developed; baseline assessment conducted
→ January 2021 to May 2023: Living Lab work in place
→ March to June 2023: Final assessment conducted
→ June 15, 2023: Final Report due

Grant Submission

The BBSP Living Lab application is available here, and you can find the guidelines here.

Please submit your application and any questions about these guidelines or the application via email to Zoe Kircos, Director of Grants and Partnerships, PeopleForBikes, at

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter. Story tip? Write