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NEWS | May 19, 2021

Restoration details its progress and goals for transforming public transportation in communities of color.


Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Releases Report on Advancing Equity and Opportunity Within Micromobility

Restoration details its progress and goals for transforming public transportation in communities of color

BROOKLYN, NY – May 19, 2021: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) today released Cementing an Equity Framework for Micro Mobility, the second report on the framework, milestones and next steps for Restoration’s NYC Better Bike Share Partnership. The report details the Partnership’s efforts to increase equity within the micromobility sector from the release of the first report in 2017 through 2020 and outlines its goals of fostering equity and opportunity for communities of color through public transportation.

Since becoming the inaugural community-based grantee of the Better Bike Share Partnership in 2015, Restoration has dedicated the past six years to build and enact an equity framework to increase equitable access to bike share and economic opportunities within the sector. Restoration has succeeded in transforming common negative perceptions of Citi Bike, increasing ridership substantially, and developing a blueprint for the Partnership to continue advancing transportation equity so that every New Yorker recognizes bike share as a valuable and accessible community asset.

“The focus of Resoration’s work is disrupting the racial wealth gap”, added Tracey Capers, EVP and Chief Program Officer, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “With that in mind, we have sought to push the boundaries of our work, helping to usher in policy change, advocating for expansion, but most importantly evolving our equity work to ensure that these systems serve and support underserved communities not only through accessibility but accountability to economic opportunities and safety of the residents that they seek as users.”

The report’s key findings indicate that since 2017, Restoration-led NYC Better Bike Share Partnership has contributed to the following:

● The development of a blueprint of equity principles and policy goals for institutional change in micromobility in NYC.

● The creation of the Reduced Fare Bike Share program and scaling its eligibility to provide 1.6 million more low-income New Yorkers with affordable access to bike share.

● A model of framework for other local cycling initiatives, including El Barrio Bikes in East Harlem, founded by DOHMH’s East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center.

● Numerous community bike rides and ridership events attended cumulatively by over a thousand residents co-lead by Restoration and NYC DOT.

● Shifting the conversation to position Citi Bike as a viable and beneficial transportation option in all New York City neighborhoods, especially in low-income communities and communities of color.

“This report speaks to what can happen when a community organization and a group of passionate partners come together to improve access and opportunity for all,” said Zoe Kircos, director of grants and partnerships at PeopleForBikes and the administrator of the Better Bike Share Partnership grant program. “Our grants to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in 2015 and 2016 were just the start of a collaboration that has grown well past those modest roots. We applaud Restoration for its tireless work to integrate equity into every part of the transportation network in New York City.”

Inaugural members of the Restoration led Bike Share Partnership include representatives from the New York City Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Lyft along with several community based organizations and residents.

“All of us at DOT are immensely proud to be part of the Better Bike Share Partnership, and we look forward to continuing the productive work we’ve done with Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Citi Bike and our agency partners to make cycling and bike share more accessible for residents of Bed-Stuy and other communities throughout the city,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “As we expand Citi Bike in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, and introduce New Yorkers to shared e-scooters in the East Bronx, we will continue to rely on this partnership to ensure equity is at the center of our efforts, creating a more sustainable transportation network across the five boroughs.”

“Creating a truly equitable bikeshare system is about more than just placement of stations and the price of fares. It requires deep partnerships with the community and empowering the voices of those who have been traditionally underserved,” said Laura Fox, General Manager of Citi Bike. “We are grateful to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation for their leadership and ongoing efforts to create a culture of cycling, particularly by addressing street safety. As this progress report highlights, we have many accomplishments to be proud of and we look forward to continued partnership to build on these successes.”

The Partnership will continue to advance its vision of leveraging micromobility to create more equitable, healthy New York City neighborhoods. To achieve this, the Partnership will prioritize its two main goals of (1) increasing economic opportunities for, and representation of, people of color in the micromobility and transportation industries and (2) better supporting the safety of people of color.

Restoration received a competitive grant from Empire Blue Cross to support its efforts to create career pathways and collaborate with transportation firms to change their recruitment, hiring and promotion practices to value and attract a more diverse workforce. “Empire is proud to support the Restoration and the Better Bike Share initiative. By providing more and better access to affordable mobility options for the communities we support, we’re improving quality of life and clearly innovating forward-thinking solutions that everyone can benefit from,” said Jennifer Kuhn, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid Plan President.

Increasing the number of safe places to ride and working to reduce policing of Black and Brown bike riders is another primary objective. Danny Harris, Executive Director, Transportation Alternatives, NYC’s leading safe streets advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives, remarked. “The success of the NYC Better Bike Share Partnership shows how transformational a bike and bike infrastructure can be in bringing opportunity to our communities. Restoration’s work brings critical transportation options to New Yorkers most in need, and serves as a model that should be scaled across our city. This report is another important reminder that an equitable city requires a transportation network that serves all, especially low income communities and communities and color.”

About Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is the nation’s first community development corporation. Created in 1967 through grassroots activism and the bipartisan support of Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob Javits, Restoration serves 50,000 annually as an advocate, coalition-builder, and direct service provider with a focus on the predominantly minority and low-income communities of Central Brooklyn. Restoration’s mission is to relentlessly pursue strategies to close gaps in family and community wealth to ensure all families in Central Brooklyn are prosperous and healthy.