Bike Share Social Equity

Bike share equity programmes aim to increase the accessibility of bikes to all people breaking down barriers such as ability or income through shared bikes.


The bike share sector is developing initiatives and incentives to encourage new ridership. There are a range of examples emerging where operators are working with job centres and community groups to offer affordable memberships with cash based payments and out-reach work to encourage under-represented groups to access the bikes. The introduction of electric bikes is helping a wider range of people access the convenience of bike share.

Bikeplus would like to see this good practise extended across the UK by developing an equity programme, if you are a community group or an interested in offering shared bikes please contact chris(at)

Bike Share 4 All in Glasgow

The launch of UK’s first social equity bike share project in Glasgow will encourage families and residents in Govanhill and Bridgeton to get in the saddle as Bikeplus, Glasgow Bike Station and nextbike team up to provide a summer packed with two-wheeled activities.

Group rides, cycle-in movie nights, road skills sessions and family rides are just some of the events planned to connect the community with the benefits of cycling.

The Bike Share 4 All partnership will also see the price of nextbike annual membership reduced from £60 to just £3, encouraging those without access to their own bike, or in need of confidence building, to rediscover the thrill of two wheels.

The Bike Share 4 All project is part financed by the European Social Fund and Scottish Government through the Social Innovation Fund. The collaboration with Bikeplus, the national bike share charity, and the Glasgow Bike Station, is delivering a summer of activities to inspire communities to take to two wheels, with research being conducted by Edinburgh Napier University.

Other UK equity examples

  • UK Bike Share Users Survey shows more women cycling
  • Shared Electric Bike Programme: Electric bikes can attract new riders: One in three of the people using the Shared Electric Bike Programme bikes had rarely or never cycled before they started using the shared electric bikes
  • PEDALL, All-ability adapted electric bikes in New Forest National Park
  • Peloton Liverpool provide maintenance support for Citybike training adult ex-offenders to Level II Cytec
  • Bath North East Somerset Council have offered a low cost membership scheme of Nextbike for people Not in Education, Employment or Training.

US case study: Divvy for Everyone (D4E), Chicago Bike Share

  • Chicago implemented a means tested equity programme offering $5 a year for low income people with $1.50 charge for over 30 minutes, compared to standard pricing of $99.00 for a year
  • The city wide programme facilitated enrolment, outreach and engagement through the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) – Centers for Working Families. Chicago DOT also partner with Slow Roll Chicago on targeted outreach, education and engagement in the Southside neighbourhood of Bronzeville.
  • To provide access of Divvy to those without smart phones access, cash payments were made available in 7/11 stores
  • The D4E project has achieved 9,000 sign ups, 82% have used Divvy with 900 active members
  • Total Divvy system trips: 9.8 million, 6.8 million made by members

US organisations have a range of equity ideas and projects: