Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Red Bike approaches 10 years, with an eye on equity

 Seven bicycles wait for riders at the Red Bike station in Laurel Park, in the West End.
Bill Rinehart
Seven bicycles await riders at the Red Bike station in Laurel Park in the West End.

Cincinnati's Red Bike program is still eyeing expansion. Executive Director Doug McClintock says bike sharing stations will open in Walnut Hills, Avondale and Evanston this year. Future plans include expanding to Roselawn and Bond Hill.

He says 2024 is the 10th anniversary of the bike sharing program, and one of their primary goals is equity. McClintock says that means providing a transportation option for everyone.

"We have a program that allows folks to income-qualify and pay $5 a month to have access to bikes throughout the community," he says. "Their access is no different than you or I's access paying full-fare. And we believe that that is a just way to run our system, and it really has become a core tenet for us."

LISTEN: Here's what's new about wheelin' around town

McClintock says Red Bike was selected in 2020 as a living lab by the Better Bike Share Partnership to find ways to make sure bicycles were available to everyone. He says that's what equity means.

"It's affordability; it's station locations that work for different segments of the community; it's thinking about bike-share in a holistic sense to figure out how we can use it as a leverage to help people gain transportation and make their lives easier to live," he says.

"We look a lot at social determinants of health, and one of the major things … is your access to transportation. And Red Bike can be part of that solution," he says.

So far this year, he says nearly a third of Red Bike riders are participating in the Go program.

McClintock says having Red Bike as a lab means they've been able to learn what works here, and to hear from other cities what they've tried.

RELATED: Officials outline plans to connect Cincinnati's bike infrastructure

But he says it doesn't matter without community buy-in. "We believe that truly to make sure bikes work in those communities that we go in with a strategy to engage the community; have them tell us where those bike share stations should go, and how they envision using them in their daily lives, so that we can serve that."

McClintock says a Walnut Hills bike station could be open before the end of the June.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.