Bike Share Equity Video Series: Bridging Gaps

Multicultural Communities for Mobility developed a video series discussing key elements of bike share equity. In this video, MCM highlights the importance of bridging gaps through community engagement. To create a better bike share system, genuine partnerships are needed among transportation agencies, government officials, community-based organizations, local businesses, and residents. MCM values public participation and facilitating a dialogue that leads to transformation and equitable outcomes.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can continue to bring equity to bike share via the hashtag #BikeShareEquity. Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

This video is made possible with funding and support from the Better Bike Share Partnership

Storytelling Team:
Rio Contreras – Active Transportation Coordinator
Maryann Aguirre – Programs Specialist
Erick Huerta – Programs Specialist
Diane Velez – Programs Specialist
Veronica Pedroza – Evaluation Specialist
Maria Sipin – Advisory Board
Blue Veil Films – Filming and Editing

Demanding equity in bike share

Demanding equity in bike share: challenges and learnings from our yearlong research and outreach work

Written by Río Contreras, Maria Sipin and Anisha Hingorani

As bike share systems are introduced in cities and existing systems continue to mature, there is a heightened awareness about the threats that the presence of bike share poses to low-income communities of color. The Bay Area is a prime example. With this valid resistance and growing concerns, there also exists a cautious optimism that bike share, if implemented equitably, can be a valuable public resource for low-income communities and enhance the environment for biking for everyone overall.

What will it take for bike share in Los Angeles to better serve users who aren’t early adopters or affluent white people as seen in bike share data in other cities? Can Metro, the implementers of bike share, apply lessons learned from our outreach work to inform the future of bike share in downtown and the roll out of more bike share throughout the region?

MCM was tasked to get better insights about potential bike share users in downtown Los Angeles by leading outreach efforts in downtown Los Angeles to conduct workshops and to provide information to local workers, transit users, and people who predominantly speak Spanish about bike share. This community-engaged research project was funded by the Better Bike Share Partnership to learn about LA bike share during its infancy, initiated at the time of its launch in July 2016.

After a year of conducting surveys and having conversations, we generated a report with our partners about the community’s responses as well as a detailed account about the barriers we faced during this process–both in the streets and behind closed doors. This video discusses the challenges and limitations of a top-down approach to community engagement while also covering the strengths of the partnerships that emerged from this project. We highlight critical practices for building trust among partners who operate at different levels of power and financial resources.

This analysis comes from the perspective of a grassroots organization working with city and transit agencies with the goal of sharing practices and processes that could be beneficial to bike share implementers or their partners who are striving to create an equitable system.

Reflections on our bike share partnership over the last year

Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM), an organization led by people of color and young professionals, entered a partnership with Metro, LADOT, and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in 2016 to study, engage and inform low-income communities and communities of color about Metro’s new bike share system. In Los Angeles, the countywide transit agency is also the operator of its newest bike share system, which began in downtown. This research and outreach project was made possible with funding from the Better Bike Share Partnership.

MCM played an essential role in hiring project staff, creating goals, planning activities, identifying accessibility and institutional barriers, and defining what equitable bike share can look like in Los Angeles. Relative to our partners, our organization was younger with limited institutional power and operating budget, yet we were determined to inform the process and demonstrate how equity involves equal partnerships with peer organizations and community members.

MCM’s bike share project team was led by Río Contreras with administrative support by Anisha Hingorani. Our team of bilingual Angelenos of color who represent a broad gender spectrum from Trans* people, women and men took on roles as ambassadors, outreach and education specialists, and evaluators. Our engagement strategies included creating culturally-relevant materials in English and Spanish, designing surveys and launching a focus group to better understand the concerns of underserved communities we had most experience with–undocumented immigrants, low-income monolingual Spanish individuals, and those with limited access to banks, credit cards, or smartphones–in a geographic area with unique challenges. Our Board Co-Chair Maria Sipin served as a key adviser and thought partner to help our team navigate through the institutional processes and politics and maintain MCM’s position and core values.

The power of storytelling to highlight multiple facets of equity in bike share

In challenging institutional inequities, we found it most effective to use video narratives and storytelling to bring the concerns of the community to light in a compelling way. We are happy to say that we received supplemental funding from BBSP to continue to produce and release videos of community members discussing the various dimensions of equitable access to bike share. We would like to acknowledge Blue Veil films for working with us to tell the most authentic stories and joining us for the ride.

Please stay tuned and consider donating to MCM or attending our Anniversary party so that we can continue serving our communities and hiring talented and driven individuals from Los Angeles neighborhoods to transform our cities together.

Let us know what you thought of the video, engage with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For any questions or concerns please contact

LA Sentinel: Staying Safe with Sankofa Bird

Multicultural Communities for Mobility has been partnering with L.A. Commons, a nonprofit organization based in Leimert Park, and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, to raise awareness about traffic fatalities and other transportation safety issues in the neighborhood and to work with people who live there to generate solutions.

Read more about the Vision Zero campaign activities that took place in Leimert Park, via LA Sentinel.

Harassment is a transportation safety issues in Los Angeles, and the residents made their concerns known at the Crenshaw Health Fest

KPCC: In some LA communities, bike lanes are seen as symbols of gentrification

Erick Huerta, education specialist for Multicultural Communities for Mobility, is interviewed on KPCC to discuss gentrification and biking in Los Angeles. Although Erick lives in Boyle Heights, MCM is not a Boyle Heights organization (to clarify the attribution in the story).

Erick Huerta. Photo by Eastsidemediatv, Erik Sarni



Streetsblog LA: L.A. Awards Great Streets And Vision Zero Grants

Streetsblog lists MCM as one of the recipients and collaborators of a Vision Zero community partnership grant, along with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and L.A. Commons to develop an outreach program in South Los Angeles, on Hoover Street between Vernon and Manchester Avenues. 


Curbed LA: How Los Angeles plans to make its streets less deadly

Curbed Los Angeles covers Vision Zero and the latest efforts by the City of Los Angeles to address traffic injuries and deaths. MCM is a founding member of the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance, a coalition of organizations working together to define priorities with communities and sharing recommendations with the City while also holding them accountable.

The focus on corridors instead of intersections also introduces a new way for LADOT to do community outreach. A series of Vision Zero grants totaling $310,000 were awarded to local groups that have recommended creative safety improvements along eight of the high-injury corridors.

Additional “Equity in DTLA Bike Share” positions now open, applications due October 4!


Multicultural Communities for Mobility, a project of Community Partners (MCM), is looking for several positions to join the Los Angeles Better Bike Share Partnership Project (LABBSP Project) – a collaborative effort by Metro, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and MCM. The LABBSP Project has been formulated to research and provide recommendations Metro may consider on how the Downtown LA bike share system can be equitable for all constituents of the city, namely low-income communities of color.

The following positions are available:

  • Evaluation Specialist: The evaluation specialist will work with MCM’s bike share team to develop data collection tools such as a bike share survey, analyze survey data, and aggregate information that will be used to create a report of our findings. The report will be used as tool to inform and recommend changes Metro can take to create an equitable bike share system in LA County. The evaluation specialist needs to have experience in qualitative survey analysis, particularly around gathering narratives. This is an independent contractor position that upon completion the payment will be $1,260 (40 hours at $30/hr). If interested, please submit a 1-page resume and 1-page cover letter to
  • Videographer: The videographer will work with MCM’s bike share team to capture visual stories from various community members and how they use transportation to/from/and within downtown Los Angeles, including bike share. The videographer will also follow the MCM’s bike share team as they engage in community-driven survey collection and bike safety education. The short videos will document educational methods and capture qualitative data of communities of color and its relationship to bike share. The videographer is expected to produce about five very short videos and one video that is about 5-7 minutes in length that captures our project. This is an independent contractor position that upon completion the payment will be $2,300 (46 hours at $46/hr). If interested please submit a 1-page resume and your portfolio or examples of videos to
  • Graphic Designer: The graphic designer will work with MCM’s bike share team to create educational and promotional materials to support our grant and research objectives. The designer is responsible for conceptualizing and creating culturally appropriate and engaging materials for our Spanish/English audience. This is an independent contractor position that upon completion the payment will be $1,250 (25 hours at $50/hr). If interested please submit a 1 page resume and send examples of work to
  • Bilingual Bike Ambassadors (6): The bilingual bike ambassadors will work with MCM’s bike share team to conduct outreach in Spanish and English at community events, presentations and activities, and collect surveys to solicit public input on access to bike services, such as bike share. This is a stipend position for 26 hours at $20/hour.  If interested please submit a 1-page resume and 1-page cover letter to

Queer Trans* Intersex people of color, women of color, people of color and people with a social justice and equity lens are strongly encouraged to apply. Please share this announcement with friends, family, and your networks. All application materials are due Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Positions are expected to start by mid-October 2016.

Thank you,

The Multicultural Communities for Mobility Team

Our bike share outreach work is supported by the Better Bike Share Partnership, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, PeopleForBikes Foundation and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and funded by The JPB Foundation.

Donate to grow MCM’s team and capacity to create safer, more bikeable and walkable streets!

Streetsblog LA: Eastside Sol Rocks Mariachi Plaza, Engages Boyle Heights on Cleaner Transpo and Energy Alternatives

MCM had a great day at Eastside Sol (a 100% solar powered music festival!), working with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, SCOPE, and CALO YouthBuild to celebrate summertime, arts, food and music in Boyle Heights and to share resources about transportation, jobs, and clean energy.

Our team was demonstrating bicycle safety with youth by distributing helmets and practicing bike handling skills on our obstacle course with under the supervision of our certified instructors.

MCM Bike Safety at Eastside Sol. Photo by Sahra Sulaiman

MCM Bike Safety at Eastside Sol. Photo by Sahra Sulaiman