The photograph, by the way, was taken in front of my workplace, the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth). When the Center for Total Health was built in 2011, there was no complete street on 2nd Street NE, and there was no Bikeshare station. We were gifted with one in June, 2015. Hard to believe it’s only been 2 years, ever since we got one it feels like it has always been there 🙂 .
The analysis, though, answers lots of questions that I have had about Bikeshare (@Bikeshare), from reviewing the data from the system as well as scholarly works about the health impact of bike sharing systems (see: Just Read: Bike sharing: review of evidence on impacts including health and equity). What I say/believe is that the other gift that Capital Bikeshare and systems like it gave us is data – we now know better than we ever have how people move through cities.
- Bikeshare is not in the same proportion by different populations – only
- Decisions made about where stations are placed as well as the geography have huge impacts
- Being banked or unbanked can put Bikeshare out of reach for many
- Newer dockless bikesharing may actually make the equity problem worse
A Health Issue as Well as a Transportation One
The fact that we as a community have a desire to know helps us solve problems. One of the best parts of this century is the understanding that transportation is as much a health issue as a transportation one.
Including some quotes below; read the analysis, it’s excellent.
The District is 36 percent white and 48 percent black; counting Arlington and Alexandria, which have extensive Capital Bikeshare service as well, the core is 35 percent black. But a survey from 2016 reveals that 80 percent of subscribers are white (and just 4 percent are black), and 52 percent of subscribers are in households earning more than $100,000 a year.
Based on the services’ initial rollout, it appears that two of the three main problems of bike share equity—outreach and fare payment—are even worse for dockless bike share. There does not appear to be much community outreach, and the fare payment options (which require a bank account and credit card) lock out many low-income residents. In addition, dockless systems also require a smartphone for activation. Smartphone ownership is universal among middle-class Americans, but not among poor Americans: according to Pew Research, only 64 percent of American households making less than $30,000 a year have a smartphone.
Equitable bike share systems: Removing barriers to access – D.C. Policy Center