Bike Transit unequivocally, absolutely supports nationwide peaceful protests and Black Lives Matters
Typically at Bike Transit, we work behind the scenes. Indego is the Philly brand, Metro Bike Share in LA, RTC Bike Share in Vegas, Bloc delivery, our new baby startup. Our employees work in all weather everyday and night to take care of our bike share systems. We have powered over 4 million bike rides, through hurricanes, blizzards, strikes and now a pandemic. We have incredible city partners, and are quietly proud of the work we do, and with the crazy world of bike share and Silicon Valley scooter crazy, we are still here. For 4 years, Bike Transit has quietly prioritized and institutionalized diversity, equity and inclusion, and powered equitable bike share in our cities.
However, and this is a bit scary for me, we are going to change our voice in the coming years to actually have a strong, public-facing voice. It is easier to sit behind the scenes. Less fame and fortune, but safer. But, I’m writing these words with tears in my eyes – an impact of the overwhelming nature of everything that is happening right now. Each and every day seems to present intensity, fear, sadness, tragedy, life-impacting decisions, confusing information. As protests unfolded in our cities this weekend, and turned violent, I’m sure that so many people shared the experience of a gigantic rollercoaster of emotions.
However, amidst the intense and confusing times, we at Bike Transit, and I as its leader, have a solid direction, which is comforting when so much else is unsure. We unequivocally and absolutely stand behind the true source of the protests. The facts, knowledge and belief that the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, the white women’s threat to Christian Cooper in Central Park, and the dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of people of color who have been murdered, lynched, oppressed, enslaved, imprisoned, for hundreds of years, are the result of deep-seated institutional racism in American society since its beginning. We have tried at Bike Transit, brick-by-brick, to dismantle the foundations of racist institutions, through equitable access to bike share, equitable operations, employee education, HR policy and hiring. AndAnd leaders in our company, myself included, must constantly examine and intentionally correct how our racist society is impacting what we do at Bike Transit and in our lives..
We at Bike Transit stand behind the peaceful protests, and are allies to Black Lives Matter, and the movement to disassemble the foundations of institutional racism. We will continue to work to implement such practices in our company and in our bike share systems. To further this mission and amplify the voices of those who are on the front line of this battle, we have made donations to The Minnesota Freedom Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Know Your Rights Camp. These donations follow past significant support for the ACLU, and for local groups in our communities providing programming, infrastructure and support for the safe streets, transportation and youth support.
In the coming weeks, Bike Transit has also planned discussions to provide spaces for healing and identifying ways to be agents of change. The first such conversation happened in LA on Friday and we will be providing such a space in the future for all systems.
I am angry at all of this, and I can only imagine the anger that people of color feel, having experienced everyday discrimination their whole lives. As a leader, however, I do not do well being motivated by anger. I have come to understand that the change I lead is motivated by a positive and hopeful vision, and is implemented piece by piece. I have led Bike Transit in this way in implementing our bike share systems, and in implementing BOOST, Bike Transit’s company-side DEI leadership group. The bike share systems that we have launched and the hard work that we do every day may not seem revolutionary, but it has put our millions of bike share rides on the ground, to people of all races and income levels, and created this incredible company in which we work. This message will come as no surprise folks who have worked closely with Bike Transit. Our employees share our long-term commitment to true equity in our society, where every person is treated as a human, and have the same opportunity in life, no matter their race, gender, income standing or background. And I have asked every employee to let me know where and when we are falling short and we can do better, brick by brick. And maybe we can supply that extra push to the battering rams to finally destroy the ugly foundations of racism in America.
Founder, Owner, President and CEO of Bicycle Transit Systems