The Bikeshare Planning Guide

Outreach and Education

As part of the marketing campaign around the system’s launch, it is important to devise
a communications strategy promoting safe cycling aimed at potential new cyclists and car
drivers. Community rides, workshops, and learn to bike classes on bikeshare bikes both raise
the profile of the system and contribute to overall cyclist safety. Philadelphia’s Indego
system hosts free “urban riding basics” classes for members and nonmembers using Indego
bikes that focus on riding safely in traffic, choosing the best route, and using Indego
bikeshare. Indego also offers adult learn to ride classes as well as monthly rides through
different Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Community outreach should not be viewed as an afterthought or be conducted solely
by volunteer staff. Sustained engagement with residents and local businesses is invaluable
to garnering public support for bikeshare. Cities should consider creating at least a part-time
staff position dedicated to community engagement around bikeshare, and should work
to identify key champions in different communities who are committed to the success
of bikeshare and have existing relationships with residents. Shortly before it launched,
Atlanta’s Relay bikeshare hired 10 “Bikeshare Champions” to conduct outreach at community
meetings and local events, both raising awareness and interest in the system and providing
workforce training and employment. A few months later, Relay hired a full-time program
manager tasked with overseeing bikeshare inclusion and equity efforts. Relay also staffs
an Ambassador program in which volunteers go out into their communities to talk with
residents about bikeshare, staff tables at community events to help residents become Relay
members, organize community rides, and promote the system on social media. Clearly
committed to community engagement from the outset, Atlanta’s bikeshare system is a model
for inclusive bikeshare.

Interested in learning more about optimizing dockless bikeshare for cities? Check out ITDP's dockless bikeshare policy brief.

View Policy Brief