Engage the Community and Build Trust to Successfully Implement Bike Sharing Systems.
Lessons Learned from Philadelphia's Indego System.
Made Public Date


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
United States

How Philadelphia is Addressing Equity in Bike Sharing


Bike sharing systems have become increasingly popular in recent years. These systems allow users to rent a bike for a short period of time from kiosks. Many travelers enjoy using these systems for recreation or to bridge gaps in traditional transportation systems.

Lessons Learned

As part of this trend, the City of Philadelphia launched its Indego bike sharing system in 2015. During the launch, the City of Philadelphia sought to make sure that its bike sharing was inclusive and equitable for all travelers. To that end, the City of Philadelphia worked with the Better Bike Share Partnership, People For Bikes, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to implement a range of best practices aimed at ensuring an inclusive and equitable bike sharing system.

Some of these best practices include:

  • Offer Discounts to Remove Cost Barriers. Cost is often a barrier to using bike sharing systems for lower income residents. Philadelphia offers lower income residents an approximately 60 percent discount on bike sharing passes to reduce cost barriers. According to officials in Philadelphia, this discount makes a significant difference for lower income residents.
  • Offer Cash Payment Options. Some travelers are uncomfortable with using or do not have credit or debit cards. Thus Philadelphia offers travelers a cash payment option to remove this barrier to bike share use.
  • Offer Education Classes. Some residents may be uncomfortable riding a bike or may not know how to ride a bike. Therefore Philadelphia offers residents free education classes that teach bike riding skills and safety.
  • Engage the Community and Build Trust. One of the most important things that Philadelphia did when implementing the Indego system was engage the community and build trust around the system. City officials and community partners consistently reached out to residents of different Philadelphia neighborhoods to understand their concerns about bike riding, bike sharing and bike safety. By doing this, the City was able to build trust with residents and develop a better and more equitable bike sharing system.