Oakland Bike Share: Pedaling Inclusion

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1 Oakland Bike Share: Pedaling Inclusion May 31, 2015 Prepared for City of Oakland, Public Works Department Prepared by Sharon Robinson Mills College Public Policy Program

2 Executive Summary Cities around the country are increasingly looking at the impact of transportation on the livability, environmental, public health and economic status of a community. Cities, including Oakland, are making significant investments in the expansion of multi-modal transportation infrastructure. As a result, urban communities are seeing increased usage of non-automobile modes of travel (i.e., public transit, walking and cycling). In the Bay Area, as well as nationally, bike sharing programs are a pivotal element of longrange transportation and land use strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The Oakland Bike Share would be an expansion (phase two of a fourphase expansion) of the regional Bay Area Bike Share program, which launched as a pilot in August To date, bike share programs throughout the U.S. have been under-utilized by a diverse population that often includes individuals who are historically underrepresented in the broader community. These groups often include lower-income residents, people of color and immigrant communities. Low bike share utilization among these groups serves to perpetuate a sense of alienation and exclusion of this demographic of residents from the community decision making process. Additionally, these residents lose out on access to affordable transportation, recreation and exercise options. This report strives to provide information on the following questions: What is required to optimize utilization of the Oakland Bike Share program? What are promising practices to engage historically underrepresented groups to use the Oakland Bike Share program? And what roles should the City of Oakland Public Works Department and its key stakeholders take to address this issue? I propose three recommendations that the City of Oakland, Public Works Department and its key stakeholders should take to support bike share utilization among historically underrepresented groups. Work in each of these recommendations areas would also serve to build structures of belonging: 1. Engage the targeted populations early in the bike share planning process. Work to immediately build trust and strategic relationships with residents. Identify and cultivate champions and allies that can bridge connections

3 in targeted communities. Operate from a position of transparency and participatory communications. 2. Implement comprehensive, inclusive bike share promising practices that are informed by the targeted groups, communities most impacted by bike share expansion, and the Oakland community at-large. 3. Support the efforts of local and national stakeholders (e.g., NACTO, NABSA, and PeopleforBikes) to develop comprehensive systemwide promising practices that focus on equity issues and strategies for effective engagement of historically underrepresented populations. Assist to expand the creation of forums and networks for information and knowledge exchange in this area. Continually identify innovative, scalable, and effective bike share and community engagement practices and policies. When taken together, these recommendations outline a strategy to support these historically underrepresented populations to make sustainable progress toward optimum well-being and full participation in society and the economy. The path forward will require a long-term commitment from the City of Oakland and its stakeholders to invest time and resources that support thoughtful, proactive, and meaningful involvement with historically marginalized communities. This policy recommendation was informed by my research of eight bike share programs in the U.S., as well as broader field research within the national bike share system, and from analogous programs that have successfully addressed engagement of historically underrepresented populations. My research confirmed that there is not a definitive policy documented to address increased bike share utilization among historically underrepresented populations. Current policies and interventions are fragmented and do not holistically support optimized utilization of bike share programs among historically underrepresented populations. To date, Philadelphia, which launched in April 2015, has benefited the most from lessons learned from the bike share network. Implementation of the Oakland Bike Share program represents a tremendous opportunity for Oakland to engage its historically underrepresented groups as partners in creating a bike share program that provides an affordable transportation option for

4 its citizens and serves to build stronger more engaged communities. Policies or interventions to increase bike share utilization among targeted groups must include integration of promising practices that address physical, economic and cultural barriers. The Promising Practices Matrix, below, provides a summary of practices that serve to address these barriers. Promising Practice Barrier(s) Impacted (Physical, Economic, Cultural) Example Programs, Cities, and Organizations Adequate Funding Bicycle Infrastructure Physical -Nice Ride, Minnesota Safety Matters Physical, Cultural -Capital Bikeshare, -Multicultural Communities for Mobility, Los Angeles Helmets Recommended Economic, Cultural -Hubway, Metro-Boston Station Siting Accessible from the Start Extended Trip Duration Broader Access -Denver B-cycle, Denver -Hubway, Metro-Boston Variety of Bike Styles Physical, Cultural -Nice Ride, Minnesota -Bay Area Bike Share, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Leadership Champions All Hands on Deck -Councilmember Brooks, Denver

5 Promising Practice Ambassadors and Community Champions Planning and Implementation Team Diversity Strategic Partnerships Public Housing Authorities Barrier(s) Impacted (Physical, Economic, Cultural) Physical, Cultural Example Programs, Cities, and Organizations -Promotores de salud -Red, Bike and Green -Cycles for Change Public Health Departments -Hubway, Metro-Boston Community Credit Unions Universities and Colleges Economic, Cultural -UC Irvine, Irvine -CA State East Bay, Hayward -Temple University, Philadelphia -Drexel University, Philadelphia Social Services Providers -Project Homeless Connect, Portland Labor Unions Day Labor Hubs and Advocacy Network -Public Architecture and National Day Labor Organizing Network, San Francisco Job Access and Reverse Commute Programs Bank On and Other Financial Institution Alliances Economic, Cultural Local Bicycle Advocacy Groups and Clubs -Better Bike Share Partnership

6 Promising Practice Barrier(s) Impacted (Physical, Economic, Cultural) Example Programs, Cities, and Organizations -Bike East Bay, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties -Black Women Bike, D. C. Business Community -BiRite Bikes, San Ramon -San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco -Indiana Pacers Basketball, Indiana Local Transit Authority Economic -BiRite Bikes, San Ramon Stakeholder Stewardship -Unity Council, La Clinica de la Raza, Asian Health Services, East Bay Local Asian Development Corporation and Allen Temple Baptist Church Financial Supports Economic, Cultural -Denver B-cycle, Denver Workforce and Economic Development Economic Community Directed Marketing and Outreach Cultural Word of Mouth Cultural Create Community and Gathering Spaces Fun Events Cultural -Peddler Brewing Company, Seattle Bike Libraries Economic, Cultural -Community Partners Bike Library, Cycles for Change Community Engagement Practices Start with Trust Cultural

7 Promising Practice Barrier(s) Impacted (Physical, Economic, Cultural) Example Programs, Cities, and Organizations Meet People Where They Are -Plan Van, Richmond Build a Sense of Belonging -Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Boston Good Community Stewardship Communicate, Communicate and Communicate Cultural -San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bike Share utilization among the historically underrepresented groups requires strategic implementation of immediate, near- and long-term practices that shifts the communal narrative among Oakland residents to one where everyone belongs and is valued. While the promising practices outlined in this analysis must be vetted to ascertain relevance and feasibility to execute, there are promising practices that are considered pivotal to launch Oakland Bike Share. Based on this research, I recommend the following immediate, near- and longterm actions required to get the Oakland Bike Share program moving forward: Immediate: 1) Secure executive leadership champions, 2) hire a culturally sensitive consulting team, and 3) create program excitement. Near-term: 1) Identify community champions, 2) provide public transit integration, and 3) launch a diverse bike share fleet. Long-term: 1) Maintain on-going community engagement, 2) offer integrated multi-modal transportation, and 3) provide universal benefit card. Implementation of these actions will support more comprehensive application of relevant promising practices outlined in the analysis. This study has been prepared for the City of Oakland, Public Works Department, Oakland, California, Jamie Parks, Complete Streets Program Manager. Jamie and his colleague, Carlos Hernandez, Oakland Bike Share Coordinator, are responsible for

8 shared mobility policy and program implementation, which includes expansion of the Bay Area Bike Share network into Oakland.

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