Meet 5 Grantees Out to Transform Bike Share

by Kiran Herbert, Communications Manager

We’re proud to announce our Living Labs, all of which will create replicable programs for improving shared micromobility in low-income communities.

The city of Philadelphia, the original BBSP Living Labs city, will continue its equity work with the Indego bike share system as part of a new cohort. (Courtesy photo)

In 2014, the Better Bike Share Partnership formed with a mission: identify barriers to bike share and develop strategies to address them. By partnering with Philadelphia and its Indego bike share system—using the city as a “Living Lab,” or a testing ground for innovative solutions—we were able to identify replicable best practices that would make any micromobility system more equitable. This year, we’re expanding our Living Lab work to include four more cities alongside Philadelphia, each with a specific target area and goal for making bike share better.

The five BBSP Living Lab cities:

We invited proposals from partnerships of cities, bike share operators and community-based organizations looking to pilot, expand, replicate or scale strategies and tactics related to a specific issue and historically-marginalized population. Projects could not include the funding of new bike share stations or related equipment, on-street infrastructure projects, general operating costs or anything related to a micromobility system that didn’t yet exist. Only applications from U.S.-based, nonprofit organizations or city agencies were considered. In the end, BBSP received 16 applications from cities large and small across the country. 

Over the course of two and a half years, we’ve committed to disseminating $200,000 in funding to each Living Lab, which will cover costs associated with proposals as well as technical support, scholarships and travel stipends for relevant conferences. Grantees will also have the opportunity to convene monthly and share learnings as a cohort. Here on the blog, we’ll be showcasing the work of each Living Lab, diving deep into individual proposals, progress made and any challenges that arise.

Read the full press release below to learn more about each project.


Better Bike Share Partnership Announces Five Living Lab Cities Focused on Equity

BOULDER, COLO. (February 17, 2021) — The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP), a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to build equitable and replicable shared micromobility systems, is pleased to announce the selection of its Living Lab grantees. BBSP will provide five organizations with funding, support and additional resources as they work to develop best practices addressing significant barriers to shared micromobility. 

“Being a Living Lab means taking a deep dive into addressing the obstacles that affect access to and use of shared micromobility systems,” said Tangier Barnes Wright, partnership and program manager at the PeopleForBikes Foundation, a founding partner of the BBSP. “At the end of two and a half years, the Living Labs communities will share unique and replicable approaches to achieving equity in shared micromobility that can be utilized nationwide.”

The Living Labs grantees 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 to improve shared micromobility for historically marginalized populations.

“These five organizations crafted creative and thoughtful proposals to look deeply at how and why people use shared micromobility — or don’t,” said Zoe Kircos, director of grants and partnerships at PeopleForBikes. “We look forward to sharing the progress, challenges and lessons learned from these Living Labs in the years ahead.” 

The following projects received Living Labs funding:

Bikes for Belmont Cragin
Chicago, IL

The Northwest Side Housing Center will work with partners to amplify the voice of youth in Chicago’s micromobility planning and implementation efforts. Teens from the Belmont Cragin neighborhood will help design and roll out a community education campaign that will focus on bikes as a way to connect the neighborhood to other transit options. Additionally, members of the Belmont Cragin Youth Leadership Council will learn bike mechanic and handling skills, which they will use to help educate their community about bike share and the many benefits of bicycling.

Read more about how these Chicago youth are building a bike community.

Building the Bike-to-Bus Connection
Detroit, MI

MoGo, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization, and its partners will work together to identify and address the technical, behavioral and structural barriers associated with bus and bike share trips in order to create better-connected transportation options in Metro Detroit. Feedback and data collected from local residents will inform strategies that MoGo will pilot and test over the course of the grant.

Read more about Detroit’s plan for integrating bike share with transit.

Indego BBSP Team
Philadelphia, PA

The City of Philadelphia, along with partners at Bicycle Transit Systems and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, will continue to refine and expand its ambassador programs and deep community engagement work, with a particular focus on the new neighborhoods that will be served by Indego’s (Philadelphia’s bike share program) extensive expansion. Additional program offerings, such as the Indego Champions and Changing Gears programs, will also be scaled up based on pilot projects completed in 2020. 

Read about how Indego’s expansion plans are putting community first.

PDX Prescribe-a-Bike
Portland, OR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation and its partner, the Multnomah County REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Program, will help local community health workers provide Biketown (Portland’s bike share program) access, education and support for clients who receive county health assistance, all with the overall goal of improving health outcomes.

Read more about Portland’s prescribe-a-bike program. 

Red Bike Go
Cincinnati, OH

Red Bike (Cincinnati’s bike share system) will supercharge its highly successful Red Bike Go program, implementing and assessing a variety of new strategies to increase community involvement as it expands into two new neighborhoods. Its approach will include creative partnerships with schools and community-based organizations, youth ambassadors and youth-focused programming with the integration of art throughout.

Read about how Red Bike is betting big on new docks, art and Cincinnati youth.