Beyond Equity — A Strategy for Developing Critical Leadership in Transportation

Healthy Ride

Bike Share Pittsburgh, Inc (henceforth referred to by the system name “Healthy Ride”) is Pittsburgh’s only non-profit bike share program. Our mission is to expand access to public transit through easy-to-use, affordable active transportation opportunities. An essential value of the organization’s social mission is equity and inclusion. They believe in providing bike share for all in Pittsburgh, and that means creating an accessible, affordable, and well-connected program. Equity and inclusivity are fundamental to Healthy Ride’s station siting, programming, pricing, and system expansion.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, Healthy Ride more than doubled the system footprint with the goal of increasing station density in previously connected areas and expanding to nearby neighborhoods that were previously unconnected to the bike share program. As Healthy Ride considered new station locations, priority was given to stations that would directly connect Healthy Ride to neighborhoods with the greatest need for increased public transit including
low-income communities and neighborhoods with low car-ownership. Healthy Ride continues to engage communities across the city to create the most accessible program through an annual Community Ambassador program, station expansion outreach, and frequent engagement opportunities including bike rides.

Emergency relief work:

Local stay at home orders and mandatory closure of all non-life sustaining businesses have Pittsburghers making drastic changes to their daily lives. As a transportation option that avoids mass transit, Healthy Ride has remained open and available to the public while operating under modifications to daily operations that emphasize sanitation, staff and rider safety, and social distancing amongst essential staff and customers. Here’s Healthy Ride’s take on COVID-19 emergency relief work in Pittsburgh:

  • Healthy Ride leveraged its website, blog, newsletter, virtual meetings and social media to deliver important information about the steps Healthy Ride is taking to ensure that customers remain safe, and communicate what riders can do to keep themselves safe while using a shared resource.
  • Healthy Ride promoted the availability of free bike share ride time to essential workers through the pre-existing partnership with the Port Authority of Allegheny County. When an individual connects their ConnectCard to their Healthy Ride account, they automatically receive free, unlimited 15-minute trips that can connect them to more than a dozen life-sustaining resources and work sites.
  • They also prioritized enhanced sanitation and rebalancing at life-sustaining bike share locations, like hospitals, pharmacies and grocery stores.

We’re always trying to find new ways to support the Pittsburgh community, and the current health crisis has revealed new opportunities for us to do that,” says the Director of Marketing & Community Outreach, Erin Potts.

BBSP has offered us a wonderful opportunity to expand these options, to think about how we can make Healthy Ride memberships even more affordable for essential workers, how to safely connect more people to the ConnectCard program that gives all riders unlimited 15-minute trips through touch-less pass linking, and find new ways to educate riders on how to ride safe during this time.”