As part of its commitment to making biking share accessible to all Milwaukeeans, Bublr Bikes issued a report Wednesday that will guide its efforts to remove barriers to use based on income levels and neighborhood.
In releasing the report, Bublr Bikes announced several steps it has already taken and key recommendations for future actions.
Nancy Ketchman of Bottlewood Communications, who conducted the independent study for Bublr, found that the most effective way to create an equitable bike share system is to place stations in low-income neighborhoods (LINs).
“Most systems have historically started out in more affluent neighborhoods, mostly to ‘make money,’ with expansion into LINs an important, but secondary goal,” Ketchman wrote in the report. “Bublr Bikes has an opportunity to become a leader in equity by reversing this typical expansion strategy.”
Based on the report’s findings, Bublr has already implemented several important programming changes to help improve community access, including:
- New single-ride pricing, offering the lowest cost of entry of any bike share system in the country.
- A training program to provide employment opportunities for Milwaukee youth through a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.
- Addition of Spanish-user instructions at Bublr stations.
- Development of additional Spanish-language content on its website.
The report also identifies six additional key “action items”:
- Develop and maintain a year-round community outreach program and presence.
- Partner with residents and stakeholders in LINs to collaboratively identify, implement, and evaluate community-driven recommendations for station location, pricing and promotion.
- Offer subsidized and discounted passes.
- Offer alternatives to credit and debit cards for passes through bank partnerships or employer/housing authority/nonprofit organization sponsorships.
- Provide easy (in-person) or over the phone membership registration.
- Place maintenance facilities and/or commit to hiring certain percentage of staff from LINs.
“The Bublr Bikes board of directors and staff are committed to implementing key action items to create a bike share system enjoyed by our very diverse community,” Bublr Board Member Juli Kaufmann said. “We see this report as a good first step. We ask you to hold us accountable and help us achieve our mission of a bike share system for all.”
Since late 2014, Bublr Bikes, a Milwaukee-based not-for-profit, has launched 11 bike share stations in and around Milwaukee’s downtown. The Bublr Bikes system is a public-private partnership between the City of Milwaukee and Bublr Bikes, with additional support from many other public and private partners.
Another 20 stations and nearly 200 more bikes will be added to the Bublr Bikes system in 2015. In the coming years, the system plans to expand to over 100 stations and 1,000 Bublr Bikes in the Milwaukee area.
Bike share programs already operate in dozens of U.S. cities, including Chicago, Denver, Des Moines, Houston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Madison, Minneapolis, New York City and Omaha.
The full report also can be downloaded at:
The executive summary is available at:
http://bublrbikes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/150701.BublrBikesForAllExecSum.pdf [Note: Both documents are also attached to this email.]