This resource offers nine case studies of bike-share, car-share and ride-share programs, including accounts of how they’ve attempted to better serve and reach low-income communities.

In the last decade, shared mobility services such as bike-share, car-share and ride-share have taken off across the United States as a complement to local public transit and an alternative to private car ownership. As these models have developed, many have explored how the emerging field can more directly benefit low-income individuals, who often face longer and more costly travel times. However, current usage of shared mobility systems among low-income communities remains lower than usage by the general population overall.

To better understand shared mobility’s potential to improve outcomes for low-income communities, Living Cities recently commissioned ITDP to survey existing shared mobility strategies and their attempts to expand services to low-income individuals. The following case studies highlight how nine different shared mobility programs were established and how they have attempted to serve low-income communities.

Specifically, these case studies offer accounts of the following shared mobility programs:

  • Boston’s Hubway
  • New York City’s CitiBike
  • Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare
  • Buffalo’s Buffalo CarShare
  • Denver’s eGo Carshare
  • San Francisco and the Bay Area’s City CarShare
  • Pittsburgh’s Heritage Community Transportation Microbus
  • Seattle’s King County Vanpool
  • Los Angeles’ Metro Vanpool Program

The case studies are part of a larger report, which recommends that shared mobility be integrated into long-term transportation planning, that research be conducted on their related business models, and that pilot programs based on the actual needs of low-income communities be tested. To learn more, read the full report or the executive summary.

It is our hope that the findings can inform operators, government agencies, funders, non-profit organizations and others as they try to tap into the potential of shared mobility strategies to improve the lives of low-income individuals.

Resource Document: Can Shared Mobility Help Low-Income People Access Opportunity?
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