Philly bike share program to expand in historically-marginalized communities

The city wants to nearly double the number of bike share stations and will concentrate on underserved areas in historically-marginalized communities.

An Indego bike dock at Race Street Pier

An Indego bike dock at Race Street Pier. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia wants to greatly expand its Indego bike share program in the coming years. That expansion will concentrate on underserved areas in historically marginalized neighborhoods.

Waffiyyah Murray, the program manager of Indego, which operates the city’s bike share program, says there are currently 200 stations where bikes are available. The decisions about where to add more stations will be made in a very focused way.

“Taking a look at those neighborhoods that haven’t had that needed additional stations, and then working with the community to find out where the best locations could be as well,” Murray said.

The goal is to add another 150 stations over the next five years.

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“The goal of the equity plan is to really share the city and bike transit system operators’ vision,” Murray said. “So we want to expand our program and grow our program in an equitable manner.”

One thing not on the table is an option to leave bikes in places that do not have docking stations. That would be too difficult to manage.

“We looked into the model before and spoke with different cities. We feel like [the current] model works best for us. The station-based model also ensures that you have bikes in a specific community and a place for folks to dock those bikes,” Murray said. “So when there’s a dockless system, the bikes end up in different places. We found that especially in terms of equity, it’s better to have a station located within a community to ensure that bikes are there and that there’s a place to dock bikes as well.”

The city isn’t ready to come up with specific numbers for each year of the expansion program, but the goal is to have a total of 350 locations within the next 5 years.

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