Philadelphia’s bike share program Indego is coming up on the first year anniversary of its installment.
Indego, which debuted in April 2015, has 73 docking stations around Philadelphia from South Philadelphia to North Philadelphia, also stretching into University City. The greatest density of docking stations can be found in Center City.
Temple University Station, located outside Tuttleman Learning Center, had about 600 returning and starting bike rides from October to December. The station on Broad Street near Oxford Street had more than 1,600 starting rides and about 1,500 returning during the same time period. The station located on Broad Street near Girard Avenue had about 1,200 starting rides and nearly 975 returning rides.
In comparison to other stations in the city, North Philadelphia has some of the lowest ridership numbers. The most popular station, located in Rittenhouse Square, saw a little more than 5,200 riders during that same period. This is five times the number of riders that were reported at Temple University Station’s docking station.
The William Penn Foundation gave a $1.5 million grant to Indego to expand. Indego plans to add 24 more stations. Some community members and students believe more stations should be added west of Broad Street to increase engagement.
Many community members added they are still unsure of what the bikes are for.
“[A lot of people] don’t know exactly what they’re for,” said Helen Flournoy, who lives on 18th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue. “The first time I saw them, I thought they were only for Temple students. So that’s why I didn’t even inquire about it.”
Lonnie Thomas, who lives on 20th Street near Lehigh Avenue, said he has never ridden the bikes, but he plans to in the future to see how they ride. He also believes there should be more stations added west of Broad Street.
“People like to travel, so they would get utilized [west of Broad Street],” he said. “I think they bring a lot of fun to the neighborhoods, especially when the weather breaks so people will be more out riding the bikes enjoying themselves.”
Sophomore finance major Anthony Merola said he has ridden an Indego bike four or five times. He added he may not ride them again after a bad experience with a bike with a flat tire.
“In the city I see a lot of people riding the bikes, but not on campus,” Merola said.
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.