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BCycle 4 All Expansion

Expanding the BCycle system's commitment to providing affordable mobility solutions to Austin's low-income and underserved residents.

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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.


GOALS: 

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.


STEPS: 

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.



Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

"BCycle 4 All Eastern Expansion" will target East Austin residents with annual incomes not exceeding $25,000 (who are not also full-time students). Ideally, this program will be engaged by historic East Austin communities - mostly racial minorities as well as low-income residents - who have continued to be displaced due to increasing gentrification in the area. For many of these individuals, a lack of easy and cheap access to transportation around the city has further undercut their ability to remain in their preferred places of residence. We have stations at two HACA locations in East Austin: Santa Rita Courts and Rosewood Courts, and HACA has helped promote the program to its residents in the past. The "BCycle 4 All Eastern Expansion" program would target similar community members - those living in affordable housing, in neighborhoods where the cost of living is continuing to increase, jeopardizing those individuals' ability to continue living in those areas.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

In 2015, B-Cycle successfully developed a program to increase ridership among low-income residents. Through this program, two bike stations were installed near affordable housing units. Funding secured through external grants was used to subsidize 400 memberships, all of which were used for low-income residents' enrollment. The project demonstrated a demand for more B-Cycle docks and discounted annual memberships, but also greater connectivity between locations in East Austin (not just downtown)

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Austin BCycle is public bike share system that rolled into Austin in December 2013. The system is owned by the City of Austin and operated by the local 501(c)(3) non-profit Bike Share of Austin. Austin BCycle immediately broke national records for check outs during SXSW, making it one of the most successful bike sharing programs in the country. There are currently 75 BCycle stations around downtown Austin and over 500 bikes in our fleet.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

https://austin.bcycle.com/

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

Approximately $50,000 to order and install a new station, including bikes to fill that station. $32,400 for 400 new passes, at $81 each (The retail cost of a Local365 pass is $86. Recipients pay a membership fee of $5) $4000, for 200 work hours to research how to best penetrate our market, as laid out above. $4000, for 200 hours of marketing and events to aid enrollment. $1000 toward print materials $1000 toward online marketing materials $2000 administrative costs and labor.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

See section titled "Explain your solution" above.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

The success of our pilot would be measured by engagement in the survey phase of the program, the traffic at the newly installed station, use of the 400 BCycle 4 All memberships, and ridership numbers by those members enrolled in BCycle 4 All thereafter. Future changes will be made to the program in order to foster retention based on our survey phase.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The development of further BCycle infrastructure is an asset which will benefit East Austin communities for years to come, and more biking will mean healthier, happier, more connected communities. After the 400 memberships are used, we will provide a 50% discounted membership to any who sign up through the BCycle 4 All program in perpetuity, or until we are granted new funds to subsidize a greater portion.

Social Media

@bikeshareofaustin, https://www.facebook.com/austinbcycle/

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Team

https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/challenge/austin/propose/4-wheeled-health-booster-carts
I would love to collaborate and make an even bigger difference.