Press Release: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Releases Report on Bike Share in Low-Income Communities of Color

Press Release: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Releases Report on  Bike Share in Low-Income Communities of Color
Friday, March 31, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 

Media Contact: Alex Alemán
Phone: 212-337-8870
Email: alex@thetascgroup.com

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Releases Report on 
Bike Share in Low-Income Communities of Color

Restoration’s success promoting equity through bike share
brings ridership growth in Bed-Stuy above citywide average

Download Bringing Equitable Bike Share to Bed-Stuy Here

BROOKLYN, NYMarch 31, 2017: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) today released Bringing Equitable Bike Share to Bed-Stuy, a comprehensive report, created in partnership with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), on their success promoting bike share in Bedford Stuyvesant and how their program could be replicated in other low-income communities of color.

The arrival of Citi Bike, New York City’s bike share program, in Bedford Stuyvesant in 2013 left many longtime residents skeptical, believing the program to be a harbinger of gentrification. Upon recognizing its value in addressing various health, mobility and financial challenges facing the residents of Bed-Stuy, Restoration knew it had to change their perception. In 2015, Restoration partnered with Citi Bike, the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to encourage participation in bike share in Bed-Stuy through outreach events, community bike rides and helmet fittings. As a result, almost 200,000 more Citi Bike rides took place in Bed-Stuy in 2016 than in 2015, bringing its overall ridership growth above the citywide average.

“We seized upon Citi Bike as a vehicle to further our broader community development agenda in Bedford Stuyvesant, recognizing its value in addressing health, mobility and financial challenges," said Colvin Grannum, President and CEO, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. "People must be able to get to work and school, and with a limited budget, transportation can oftentimes present a significant barrier to opportunities like employment and education. Citi Bike presents an affordable and convenient transportation alternative with subsequent health benefits. We’ve learned a lot along the way and want to share these lessons and best practices with the broader community in hopes that neighborhoods everywhere follow our lead.”

“We wanted to change neighborhood conversation from focusing on gentrification to exploring how bike share can help residents achieve their personal goals,” said Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President for Programs, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “Changing the conversation meant real discussions with residents on their perceptions and aspirations, and it required Partnership members to do business differently – including looking at Restoration’s own organizational practices, how we engage the community and how we collaborate with one another.”

“As the NACTO Board President and the Transportation General Manager of a city that cares deeply about equitable transportation outcomes, I applaud Restoration for giving us such a powerful example of what a thoughtful, equity-focused partnership can do,” said Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and NACTO President. “Restoration’s work, and the ability of their Partnership to significantly increase the number of people riding in their community, has direct implications for anyone working on bike share, cycling, and active transportation nationwide.”

“DOT is proud to be part of a great collective effort to expand bike share in Bed-Stuy, where the grassroots work of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has made a real difference in getting the community to embrace bike share,” said Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, New York City 

Department of Transportation. “As Citi Bike expands even further in 2017, we expect neighbors in other communities new to bike share to share Bed-Stuy’s positive experience.”

“Neighborhood changes rooted in the voices and values of its residents will have a lasting positive impact,” said Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Restoration’s Better Bike Share Partnership is an example of the tremendous gains that can be made when this happens.”

“Citi Bike has become a huge success. We served 14 million trips in 2016. But it’s not enough to just count bike-trips and call that a success,” said Jay H. Walder, President & CEO, Motivate. “Success is building a more equitable, more dynamic and more connected New York. This partnership helps do just that, and it’s a model we hope to replicate in other neighborhoods across New York.”

“Bed Stuy’s Better Bike Share Partnership has demonstrated that bike share can thrive in low income and communities of color,” said Robert E. Cornegy Jr., New York City Councilmember. “We have witnessed first-hand the program bolster the business community, benefiting both residents and visitors alike.”

Restoration’s report details the organization’s efforts to promote cycling as an active lifestyle choice and an affordable transportation option for the Bed-Stuy community. Over the past two years, the organization has hosted more than 80 community rides under the Better Bike Share Partnership, attracting over 2,000 Bedford Stuyvesant residents to biking events and helmet fittings. The report’s key findings indicate that Restoration’s program was an immense success, leading to:

  • 225% more Citi Bike trips in Bed Stuy in June 2016 than June 2015
  • More Citi Bike trips in January 2016 (the dead of winter!) than June 2015
  • A 56% increase in Citi Bike membership in Bed Stuy versus 46% citywide
  • A higher rate of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) resident enrollment in Bed Stuy than anywhere else in the city

This year, Restoration is leading 15 new events to help residents further incorporate the benefits of bike share into their lives, including bike safety skills classes for people who wish to learn or relearn proper bike safety protocol and lunchtime bike commuting classes. All bike rides will be led by partners, community leaders and community organizations, including Assembly member Walter Mosley, Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Interfaith Medical Center, Bike NY, Brown Girls Do Ride and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Restoration is now looking to replicate its model in other neighborhoods throughout the city.

View Restoration’s full report on its success promoting equity through bike share in low-income communities of color here.

For media inquiries contact Alex Alemán at The TASC Group at alex@thetascgroup.com or 212-337-8870.

About Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Established in 1967 by bi-partisan New York Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob K. Javits, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the nation’s first community development corporation, partners with residents and business to improve the quality of life of Central Brooklyn by fostering economic self-sufficiency, enhancing family stability and growth, promoting the arts and culture and transforming Brooklyn neighborhoods into a safe, vibrant place to live, work and visit. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Restoration is a dynamic institution that creates significant, sustainable and demonstrable impact in improving the well-being of local residents and business.

About the National Association of City Transportation Officials

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is an association of 51 major North American cities formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. NACTO is a member of the Better Bike Share Partnership, a JPB Foundation funded collaboration to build equitable and replicable bike share systems.

X