It was suggested to me this past Spring, that in the role of CEO, I may want to consider starting a blog to post regular announcements and updates to our staff and general audience. At that point, I think I blinked blankly at the request as if to indicate my internal dialogue “What? What would I say? I’m still trying to figure this new role out!”. However, as Fall settles upon us, and I near the end of my first trip around the sun as CEO, I have found the headspace to reflect on the whirlwind of the past year.
Before I dive into our world of Bike Transit and bike share, it seems incredibly important to frame the past year in some of the major events that have taken place in the world:
- the war and human rights atrocities in Ukraine,
- the roll-back of Roe v. Wade and the reality that abortion is no longer a right in the United States,
- continued pervasiveness of gun violence and mass shootings across the United States, many of which are targeted at or most prevalent in predominantly AAPI, Black or Latinx communities,
- prevalence of bigotry that aims to create division over unity, and
- the ongoing hum of COVID that we have all come to live with…
…just to name a few.
In the wake of the realities of the world we are living in, I hold close to my heart the fact that the work that we do at Bike Transit can, and does, create meaningful and positive change, and as well as hope in the chaos. In reflecting on the past year, I want to highlight and celebrate what we are doing at Bike Transit to affect positive change.
Prioritize Culture: Update to Our Vision, Mission and Values
As a company, we launched into 2022 by framing our work in a revision to our mission, vision and value statements. I have leaned on these countless times over the past year to help guide difficult decisions and encourage me when I need the extra push.
Our new vision, mission, and values are: Every person has a bike. We operate bike share systems that create connections in our communities and protect our planet. We are DEIJ-driven, Innovative and Responsible.
Close your eyes and picture it: Everyone has access to experience the freedom, the connection to community, and ability to travel emissions free — a bike!
Act Deliberately: We created a Strategic Plan and Goals
To build the scaffolding to our vision, we launched Bike Transit’s first strategic plan based on three basic commitments: People. Planet. Prosperity. This was BIG! As a company we have put forth substantial goals that we had not been explicitly talking about before including how our work can protect the planet, increase shared prosperity among key stakeholders from our riders to our employees, and deepen our commitment to being DEIJ-driven. Our approach was to keep it simple — so we identified two goals for each commitment and designed an annual tactical plan to align our valuable resources of time, energy, and money to move the dial on each of these in a measured way.
Our goals highlight how we are doing the work in our house so that we can do the work in our communities. I am in awe of the learning journey that I have been able to share with team members across the organization and the ways that we have been able to challenge ourselves. And I am inspired to grow, evolve and one day at a time, do the work to actualize these goals.
Acknowledge and Celebrate Progress
Under the framework of our vision, mission, values and strategic plan, below are just some examples of the progress we have made over the past year:
- We doubled down on our commitment to Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice by implementing a 3-part training series for all employees with a 90% completion rate. We have identified four tenants of white dominant culture that are most prominent in our work environment, and their antidotes. In just a short time, I have experienced and observed team members, including myself, identifying and engaging in dialogue on this in our day-to-day interactions.
- We implemented criteria and a diverse slate process to improve hiring and access to a diverse and talented pool of candidates for all positions at the company.
- We are actively building DEIJ Champions at Bike Transit through increased engagement and participation in DEIJ employee-led committees across all teams in the company through the utilization of the Awake to Woke to Work framework.
- All bike share systems have worked on equitable expansion plans in partnership with key stakeholders.
- Ridership is on the rise in Philly, Vegas and LA! Through the tireless efforts of bike and station deployment to customer service and promotions made by every team member, Bike Transit is on track to power 1.3 million trips this year – nearly 20% more trips than 2021.
- We launched a Net Zero Advisory Group to drive our work towards becoming a Carbon Neutral company. Measurements have been taken that will help us establish baseline emissions from which we will identify the areas where our change can have the greatest impact on climate change.
For clarity, we define prosperity as the state of being successful or thriving, including money, health AND happiness. Our vision for prosperity extends to our employees, riders, public agency partners and the communities where we operate.
- As CEO, I prioritized prosperity for 2022, specifically the launch of a reduced work week pilot. As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we must acknowledge the toll that the past few years has taken on us and innovatively identify ways to improve work-life balance and well-being for each and every team member. Our pilot looks like this — employees receive 100% of the compensation for working a 34-hour work week instead of a 40-hour work week with the goal of sustaining overall productivity and a best-in-class customer experience. The pilot launched in July with Customer Service and will be applied company-wide by the end of March 2023.
- Bike Transit is a company built on partnerships. Our bike share systems are the product of public-private partnerships with LA Metro, RTC in Las Vegas, and the City of Philadelphia, while our Customer Service Department is a key service provider to more than 15 partner bike share programs, including BCycle, who is also our product provider. More recently we have entered into a partnership with the Transportation Workers Union Local 320 to finalize the first bargaining unit contract for our LA Operations staff. The common thread to all these partnerships is that trust and transparency are key to our ability to establish, and actualize, a shared vision for progress and success.
- And last, but certainly not least, we have expanded our commitment to prosperity for our riders by implementing and expanding reduced fare pass options in Philly, Vegas and LA in 2022.
This is just the beginning. There is much more work to do — there is more positive change to make.
To each and every Bike Transit team member – this work and these accomplishments are possible because of you and the hard work and heart you bring to work each day. I see you, I see your contributions, and I deeply appreciate you! Thank you!
I look forward to continuing this journey with you and thank you for taking the ride with me!
Pedal on safely,