Bike East Bay is joining forces with Cycles of Change and the Original Scraper Bike Team to make the newly launched bike share service available to more people this summer. We’re looking forward to organizing bike rides and workshops and representing at events. Together we will spread the word about the East Bay’s new form of public transportation to communities historically underserved by transportation investments.
Cycles of Change and the Scraper Bikes are people of color-led organizations that work in Oakland communities disproportionately impacted by income inequality and displacement. In order for bike share to be truly inclusive and welcoming, it needs to be geared to not just those living in affluent neighborhoods, but to help everybody get to work, school, and public transit. Together, our organizations will spread awareness about bike share, create more opportunities for people of color to get on bikes, and continue to lower barriers to entry in using the system.
“It’s always a good idea to get people on bikes. At any age. We ought to be able to do this as easily as possible,” says Phoenix Mangrum of Cycles of Change. “Anybody who wants to ride a bike should have access to it.”
By investing in bike share, the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville are investing in cycling as a convenient, healthy, and affordable way to get around town. Some of the reasons we’re excited about bike share:
Strength in Numbers: With 7,000 new bikes in the Bay Area, we hope to see exponentially more bicyclists riding on the streets and for these to be visibly more inclusive of bicycles. The East Bay alone is getting 116 stations and 1,400 bikes. In London, a survey of active bike share users found that 78 percent started to ride or ride more as a result of the system.
Power of Clipper: Your Clipper Card will now unlock bicycles, officially linking bike share to public transportation.
Affordable Transit: A monthly bike share membership is cheaper than a bus pass, and you won’t have to worry about locking your bike or fixing a flat. At $15/month, or $5 for the first year for qualifying low-income individuals, bike share is the most affordable public transit option in the East Bay.
Bike to Health Benefits: Bike share will unlock new exercise opportunities for East Bay residents. In a survey of 3,100 Capital Bikeshare users in Washington, D.C., 31.5 percent reported stress reduction and about 30 percent indicated they lost weight as a result of bike-share.
However, more needs to be done to extend these benefits to people of color and low income individuals. While Bike East Bay and our partners at TransForm successfully advocated for a low-income discount, the qualifications required to sign up for the “Bike Share for All” membership still represent a barrier to riding. Cash payment is possible at selected venues, and each ride session can be an hour (rather than 45 minutes) long. For low-income individuals, the credit card requirement and potential additional fines may be deterrents to signing up. In a new study from Portland State University, 80 percent of low-income people of color surveyed say they would be more likely to use bike share if cost and liability concerns were reduced.
Come check out the bikes and talk to our outreach team at Pedalfest in Oakland on July 22.
About Our Partners:
Cycles of Change works to improve the health and sustainability of our neighborhoods by increasing the use of bicycles as transportation, connecting youth with the extraordinary living systems of our local area, and building a diverse community of visionary young leaders. Their programs include after school bike clubs, the Bikery Community Bike Shop, Safe Routes to Schools, Oakland Upcycle and more.
The Original Scraper Bike Team captures creativity of at-risk youth living within dangerous communities in East and West Oakland by giving kids a positive, bike-themed outlet that is fun, educational and promotes healthy living. This is a peer supported, close knit group of youth who cooperatively build and decorate bikes and conspicuously ride them throughout Oakland and beyond, encouraging one another to stay in school for the privilege of doing it all again, and again.