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Journal Article


Nguemeni Tiako MJ, Stokes DC. Yale J. Biol. Med. 2021; 94(1): 159-164.


(Copyright © 2021, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine)






Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus and died of COVID-19 at higher rates than White people. Individuals rated public transit, taxis, and ride-hailing as the modes of transportation putting them at greatest risk of COVID-19 infection. Cycling may thus be an attractive alternative for commuting. Amid the increase in bikeshare usage during the early months of the pandemic, bikeshare companies made changes to membership requirements to increase accessibility, targeting especially essential workers. Essential workers in the United States are disproportionately Black and Latinx, underpaid, and reliant on public transit to commute to work. We document changes made by bikeshare companies, including benefits to various groups of essential workers, and we discuss such changes in the context of longstanding racial disparities in bikeshare access. While well intended, the arbitrary delineation in eligibility for such benefits by class of essential workers unwittingly curtailed access for many who may have benefited most. Given that equity in bikeshare is an important tool to improve access to safe transportation, critical changes in the distribution, accessibility, and usability of bikeshare networks is essential. Bikeshare companies, city planners, and policy makers should collaborate with community-based bike advocates to implement changes, as vocalized by those most in need of alternative forms of transportation.

Language: en


Public Health; Cycling; Covid-19; Bikeshare; Health Equity; Urban Design


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