Case study

Bringing equitable bike share to Bedford Stuyvesant

1 Mar 2017

In 2013, Citi Bike launched in New York City. With 6,000 bikes and 332 stations, the system provided easy access to bikes in a variety of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including Bedford Stuyvesant. The system was quickly a ridership success, racking up over 6 million trips in its first 7 months of operation, and 10 million and 14 million trips in each subsequent year. But, ridership rates differed greatly by neighborhood. In particular, ridership in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, a low-income neighborhood with a majority population of people of African-Caribbean descent, was well below the citywide average. Even though the area had worse health outcomes and fewer transit options than many other parts of the City, a disproportionately lower number of Bedford Stuyvesant residents were taking advantage of the mobility and health benefits of bike share.

In 2015, a grant-funded Restoration Partnership formed to address the issue. Overall, the Partnership is changing the face of who rides in Bedford Stuyvesant, encouraging more people to use Citi Bike for commutes and pleasure, and giving long-time residents new ownership over changing streets and new safety infrastructure. The experience of this partnership holds core lessons for other groups and individuals working to address community health and mobility needs and to make cycling and bike share relevant to a wider audience.

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