Indego to Embrace Fairmount Park This Year

The bike-share system will open stations in neighborhoods bordering the park, thus advancing two missions at once.

Photo | Indego Facebook

Photo | Indego Facebook

The Indego bike share network turns one this April, and while the folks who run it are pleased with how well it’s done so far, it still has plenty of growing to do. Its expansion plans for the next year will both promote bike riding in Philadelphia’s biggest park and advance its mission of increasing bike ridership in the city’s disadvantaged communities.

Aaron Ritz, complete streets implementation manager in the city’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, said that in the year ahead, 24 bike share stations would be added, most of them in neighborhoods bordering East and West Fairmount Park, including Brewerytown, Strawberry Mansion, Parkside, Mantua and Belmont.

Funding for the expansion, he said, is coming from a William Penn Foundation program aimed at connecting parks and neighborhoods with the city’s waterfronts. There will also be some stations added along the Delaware in connection with this program. “We’re working with neighborhood groups to determine where the stations will be located,” he said.

Assuming things go according to plan, these new stations should also lead to a rise in the number of riders using cash to pay for their bike share memberships, a feature unique to Indego among big-city bike-sharing networks to date. Ritz said the city was pleased with how many people were taking advantage of this feature already: “Over the course of the last nine months, we’ve had 50o cash program redemptions,” he said.

“Repeat cash users are one percent of total members but make four percent of the total trips in any given period. They find usefulness in the system and are making it part of their daily commute.”

Ritz said that a more complete demographic profile of Indego users would be released with the system’s annual report, which should come out around the time Indego turns one. Several special events and the rollout of a revamped marketing program are also scheduled for the anniversary.

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