Beyond Equity — A Strategy for Developing Critical Leadership in Transportation

Heartland BCycle

Heartland Bike Share is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists for the development, promotion, and operation of bike sharing programs throughout the Heartland region for the benefit of the general public, aimed at promoting health and quality of life as well as mitigating climate change and promoting the use of sustainable forms of transportation.

Incorporated in January 2016 by the independent contractors who had been operating the Heartland B-cycle program for Live Well Omaha, Heartland Bike Share is a team of experienced bike share operators serving the Heartland Region. Currently, they operate the bike sharing program in Omaha, Sarpy County, and Council Bluffs: Heartland B-cycle and the program in Lincoln: BikeLNK. Combined, that represents over 90 stations and over 450 bikes. Heartland Bike Share received three awards from the National BCycle Conference in 2019 in recognition of our work.

Emergency Relief Work:

In April, Heartland Bike Share provided local healthcare workers with free annual Heartland B-cycle passes that come with a year of unlimited 1-hour trips  — a membership that typically costs $100. The decision to provide annual memberships was an intentional decision meant to serve healthcare workers as much as possible since the end date of COVID-19 is unclear.

  • In the short term, the pass will provide transportation and stress relieving healthy activity
  • In the long term (after the need for social distancing has subsided), the passes will allow healthcare workers a meaningful, active way to connect with their families and loved ones who they couldn’t see during the crisis
  • Plus, to receive a pass, healthcare workers were only required to email HBS directly to get signed up — this cut out the need for workers to go through their institution, allowing more people to access these services.
  • HBS heard from healthcare workers who shared the variety of ways they planned to use the system: Some talked about how they wanted to use the system for transportation as they felt the risk of riding the bus was too high; others said they were looking forward to the stress-relieving benefits of biking; all of them were excited and grateful for the passes.