Ambassador Spotlight: Breaking down Barriers

Written by Randy LoBasso

The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is an effort led by the City of Philadelphia that works to ensure that Indego bike share is accessible to all Philadelphians. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a non­profit advocacy and education organization working as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership to support bike share and biking education.

The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is funded by the JPB Foundation.

While visiting South Philly Indego stations, you may come across a wonderful woman who will greet you with a smile, and can give you the 411 on how to ride Indego. Ivonne Pinto, a hard working mother of one, migrated from the State of Puebla in Mexico 11 years ago, and currently resides in South Philadelphia. The newly-minted Better Bike Share Ambassador loves to be involved in a lot of community activities and finds herself volunteering with different organizations all over the city.

Ivonne is a recent leader in BBSP, following numerous Philadelphia individuals who’ve helped bring Indego to Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

Since coming to Philadelphia with her husband 11 years ago, Ivonne has grown to love the city, although at first she felt indifferent and out of place after leaving her country, family, and friends.

“I realized that I was no longer home that I no longer was near my mother and I no longer was near my country,” she said. “With all the sincerity, I never thought I was going to travel and said, ‘I’m going to stay here’. Shortly after my daughter Sofia was born, something changed and I said to myself ‘I’m going out, I’m going to see what is out there.’”

Ivonne Ride 8_6_2016

Now Ivonne is more integrated within her community and with the city as a part of the Indego Community Ambassador team. “I take great pride in being an ambassador. It’s a pleasure to interact with people at the bike stations,” she added.

Ivonne enjoys dedicating her time to her community, family, and friends in South Philly while also advocating for bicycle safety.

What Ivonne loves most about being an ambassador is the flexibility. “The thing is that being an ambassador from Indego, there is not an actual schedule because I like to converse. But when I’m not on the street, I work cleaning two houses and also I volunteer in different places or I spend quality time with Sofia.”

One of Ivonne’s major roles is to work with the Latino community in South Philadelphia to create a more diverse community and encouraging people to meet and interact with each other with bike rides.

She also doesn’t let the language barriers stop her. “There have been little times when people don’t want to listen, but it is hard to get people to listen and understand. Since Indego is part of the community and is for everyone to used, it’s important that the community take advantage of that.”



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