Transportation Alternatives: Tracey Capers Is a Convert

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by Jessie Singer from Transportation Alternatives. Interviewing Executive Vice President Tracey Capers.

J: When did you start riding a bike?

Whenever it is that people start riding bikes, age three or four. I always rode a bike, from my little tricycle to my 10-speed. My family would ride around the neighborhood, and when they would close down the Bronx River Parkway, we would go ride on the Parkway. I don’t know when I stopped riding bikes regularly, probably somewhere in high school. I forgot about taking the Bronx River Parkway until I started riding again as an adult.

J: Now you’re a regular bike commuter. What brought you back?

T: It’s a long story. Five years ago, when Citi Bike expanded into Bed-Stuy, they approached me with an idea for a partnership. Compared to other neighborhoods where Citi Bike launched, Bed-Stuy was more low-income and had more people of color, and they wanted to experiment with bike share equity. I ended up as a leading force behind the New York City Better Bike Share Partnership — a collaboration with Citi Bike, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health, and other community organizations — to get more people of color in low-income communities on Citi Bike, and strategize how to move the needle on bike share equity. I realized I had to try biking myself, and it came right back to me. Now I ride regularly through Bed-Stuy for work, and to work from where I live in Downtown Brooklyn.

J: You’ve written that as a community advocate, you were skeptical about bike share at first. What changed your mind?

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