Cities around the world are trying to figure out the best way to react in today’s strange new world which is flooded with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are being urged by public health experts to stay home, to flatten the curve. And while many people are doing just that, others still rely on various modes of transportation for their essential trips to get to work, shop for groceries, or whatever their need may be.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) recently released their own COVID-19 Transportation Response Center. This online hub acts as a resource for transportation staff, officials, leaders, and of course, anyone else with internet access and an interest in these things (that could be you!).
A quick look – and maybe even a quick download and filter application – of the City Transportation Action Updates spreadsheet, tells a story of the variety of actions being taken globally by mobility operators. From free public transit for all to free taxi rides for health care workers to additional fees for ride hailing, no one knows for certain what the best way to move forward is, but organizations are doing what they think is best and learning from others along the way.
Let’s take a look at bike share specifically.
Of the systems that are reporting specific actions due to COVID-19, they generally fall into three categories: free or discounted passes, increased sanitization of their bikes, or closing the system entirely.
Other than increased sanitization, and for those that continue to operate, here are some examples of actions by bike share systems in North America:
- Mobi by Shaw Go (Vancouver, BC) – free 90-day memberships for essential workers and reduced prices on annual memberships
- Bixi (Montreal, QC) – free 30-day subscription to all employees of Montreal’s public health and social service institutions
- Citi Bike (New York, NY) – free-30 day memberships to frontline workers
- Biketown (Portland, OR) – subsidized Pay-As-You-Go plans and reduced overage fees for monthly and annual members
NABSA (North American Bike Share Association) has recently launched the Shared Micromobility Status Tracker which also provides a clear overview of some actions by micromobility providers. It is important to remember this data is constantly evolving and accurate only to the best of NABSA’s knowledge.
Let’s watch as mobility providers continue to react – and innovate – during the strange times that the world is experiencing with this pandemic.
Image source: NABSA.