Since its founding in 2013, B-Cycle has striven to enhance alternative forms of mobility for Austin residents, providing bikeshare options in much of Central Austin.
As part of its mission, B-Cycle has implemented programs that focus especially on improving connectivity between under-resourced communities, essential resource hubs, and the city’s downtown core.
Many of the residents in the Eastern Crescent have, historically, been underserved by city services, including transportation. The proposed “BCycle 4 All” Eastern Expansion program would address this historic and continued neglect in mobility services, alleviating gaps in connectivity for Austin’s low-income residents on the East Side through expanded bikeshare access, discounted bikeshare membership and public outreach campaigns.
Such an increase in bikeshare service would allow low-income residents to: commute to work and school; better access grocery stores, libraries, polling stations, medical clinics; visit family and friends; engage in outdoor physical activity and recreation.
The “BCycle 4 All” plan would include three stages of implementation:
1. Ridership Research – An initial phase of the program would be dedicated to researching potential sites for the next bikeshare docking station. This research would be carried out through:
a) quantitative data and spatial analysis pertaining to ridership at different docking stations on the East side of Austin;
b) in-person observation and survey administration at docking stations with the highest and lowest usage on the East side, thereby better gauging how and why certain locations have greater usage than others;
c) in-depth interviews with low-income East Austin residents who rely on public transportation options for most of their essential life functions (i.e. commuting to work, grocery shopping, medical visits, etc.), focusing on questions such as, "How often do you use B-Cycle?" "What are your daily commuting needs? What are your commuting trajectories?" "Where would another such bikeshare station be most useful for you?"
This research would require the involvement of local community partners, such as HACA representatives, for interview recruitment, and would require the temporary employment of a contracted social researcher. $4000 of the requested budget would be dedicated to this research, with 3 months for the implementation.
2. Site Selection - A secondary phase of the program would focus on establishing the site for the expanded bikeshare program. This would require the work of securing the permits and installing the stations infrastructure. The bikeshare dock itself and the process would cost approximately $50,000.
3. Membership Outreach - The final phase of the program would involve community outreach and advocacy in order to raise local awareness of the new transportation option in the neighborhood, and to invite qualifying community members in Austin's Eastern Crescent to join the BCycle 4 All membership program. B-Cycle would partner with HACA representatives who would in turn help to arrange community meetings in which the program is explained, and enrollment into the program is facilitated. Additionally, B-Cycle will sponsor several "pop-up" enrollment events at the Carver Museum and other strategic locations in order to increase annual membership in the BCycle for all program. These outreach efforts would cost $4000 of the total budget.