The 2023 Indego Equity Plan is a five-year plan intended to establish a path for Philadelphia’s Indego bike share program to continue to grow and operate in an equitable manner.
PHILADELPHIA – Indego bike share, Philadelphia’s bike share transportation system, released its 2023 Indego Equity Plan today. This document provides a look back on the best practices that the City of Philadelphia and Indego have developed and provides a roadmap to continue leading the way in equitable bike share growth and operation. A successful bike share program depends on funding, infrastructure that encourages bike riding, and support from community members. These elements reinforce each other and provide crucial pillars for the foundation of a successful bike share program, as a result they are reflected in these five goals defined in the 2023 Indego Equity Plan:
- Indego will improve transportation access for all people, with particular attention to people who are BIPOC and people facing economic challenges.
- Indego’s pricing structure will make the system financially accessible to people with economic challenges.
- Indego will reduce non-financial barriers to ridership and barriers to entry, especially in historically marginalized communities and among all eligible age groups, including seniors 62+ and youth 14 – 21.
- Indego will continue to prioritize community partnerships and relationships so that marginalized communities can influence decisions related to Indego in a way that addresses their needs and concerns.
- Indego’s workforce, including its managing team at both Bicycle Transit Systems (BTS) and the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS), will include demographic diversity and diverse perspectives and experiences.
“Indego continues to provide Philadelphians with new, safe, and sustainable options to get where they need to. This is critical to driving inclusive growth and access to opportunity to build a thriving economy that benefits everyone,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I’m proud of the work of the City, Bicycle Transit Systems staff, Independence Blue Cross, partners, and community leaders to ensure that the investments we are making in bike share will benefit all Philadelphians regardless of race, age or zip code through the Indego Equity Plan.”
The Indego Equity Plan builds on a substantial foundation of previous work to envision, launch, and expand the Indego system in an equitable way. Since its launch, Indego has partnered with the Better Bike Share Partnership to understand the barriers behind utilization of bike share in low-income and communities of color. This partnership empowered Philadelphia and Indego to be the first living laboratory to develop strategies and tactics to address those barriers, collect data to assess change, and work to institutionalize replicable approaches for other bike share systems.
“It is important for Indego to release this Equity Plan to show not only our continued commitment to equity, but also the important role each and every partner plays in contributing to the success of our bike share program,” says Indego Program Manager, Waffiyyah Murray.
When the Indego system was first launched in 2015, one third of the stations were placed in low-income communities. To reach people in these communities, Indego has worked each year with a team of Community Ambassadors who help residents understand the benefits of bike share, educate folks on how to use Indego, and collect feedback on the barriers to access.
Indego also introduced a discounted pass for PA ACCESS cardholders and became the first bike share program in the country to have an automated cash payment option available to any resident, regardless of income. Since launch, Indego has had over 10,000 Access pass signups and this past January, 15 percent of trips were taken by Access Passholders. To break down other barriers, Indego has worked with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia as a key partner to lead community group rides and offer a suite of free educational classes.
“In a city as culturally and financially diverse as Philadelphia, any plan to improve the quality and access of transportation options should have true equity at its core. This involves developing and implementing plans that prioritize the needs of citizens, views them through their lenses, and meets them where they are in order to improve much needed services. Whether that involves education, access, or affordability, Indego has always been committed to evaluating its policy and practices to ensure fairness throughout their system. They should be commended for continuing their efforts through the creation of the Indego Equity Plan, whose goals aim to further bolster their partnerships and services to various communities, especially BIOPIC, throughout Philadelphia,” said Tonnetta Graham, Executive Director, Strawberry Mansion CDC, and previous Indego Community Ambassador.
Over the next five years, new stations will continue to be added to low income and communities of color, and Indego and the City will be committed to targeting engagement and outreach in these communities. Indego and the City will track certain equity performance metrics to infer success in achieving the goals laid out in the Indego Equity Plan.
“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of a team that is committed to running an equitable bike share system. This is distinctive of Indego and something that sets us apart from many other bike share systems. Equity shows up in every aspect of our work from how we hire and promote employees to where we install new bike share stations to how we engage staff around social justice issues to our bike share pass and fee structure. The Indego equity plan is an exciting demonstration of our commitment to equity and sets key goals that will help make Indego even more equitable for the citizens of Philadelphia and beyond,” said Indego’s General Manager, Nate Bowman-Johnston.
As the Indego system continues to grow and the responsibilities of system partners evolve we will strive to deepen a shared culture of equity. Through implementing this plan, Indego will continue to work towards increasing representation, building a stronger culture of inclusion, and using an equity lens to examine organizational and programmatic initiatives to create a bike share program that all Philadelphians feel is for them and benefits their communities. By doing so, we will achieve the fundamental mission of Indego—to be a resource that connects community members with each other and with all that Philadelphia has to offer.
This work was made possible because of the long-term financial investment and shared vision of health equity by title sponsor Independence Blue Cross.
View the full 2023 Indego Equity Plan, as well as executive summaries in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.
- Indego Equity Plan Blog
- 2023 Community Ambassador Application
- 2018 Indego Business Plan
- Indego’s continued commitments to communities of color
- Indego suggest-a-station page
ABOUT INDEGO : Indego is an initiative of the City of Philadelphia and sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. Now in its 8th year, Indego has more than 190 stations and 1,900 bicycles across much of Philadelphia and has served nearly six million rides since its launch. Indego is operated by Bicycle Transit Systems and, under a new 10-year exclusive agreement, is expected to bring more than $19 million in investment in equipment, engagement, education, and operating expertise to Philadelphia through 2030. Indego is committed to racial and economic equity and is part of the Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP), which seeks to develop bike share equitably and sustainably across the country.