Behind the Scenes: Bringing an Indego Station to Vare Recreation Center

In late August, Indego installed a station at one of the city’s oldest recreation centers, Vare. How Indego brings new stations to a community starts with an amazing and dedicated team consisting of Bicycle Transit Systems (BTS), the City of Philadelphia, and a host of community partners. Keep reading to learn more about how the pieces came together to bring you the Indego station at 27th & Morris near Vare Recreation Center.

Indego Comes to Vare Rec

Located in the Grays Ferry section of South Philadelphia, Vare Recreation Center has served the community for over a hundred years. Indego’s connection with Vare goes back a few years when we met and partnered with Mrs. Ella Best, a legendary Grays Ferry community activist. She knew her community needed resources that both addressed their physical and mental health. Although Mrs. Ella is no longer with us, her spirit forever influences Indego and the community. Tracey Anderson, who worked closely with Ella Best, believes that Indego brings partnerships and new connections. Tracey had this to say about Indego bike share:

“Often we think that new things are a sign of change that will not include the community. Indego stations connect our community with great places close to home and across the city”

Station Planning and Installation

Like any well-planned event, Indego stations take time to coordinate. The Indego team connects with community partners who help set the table for conversations about community needs and how Indego might be an asset to their area. These conversations are centered around where new stations should be placed in order to provide the community access to local resources and other transit hubs. 

Once a location is agreed on, Bicycle Transit System works directly with the City of Philadelphia to verify that the station is in a location that is both safe and accessible. Indego’s planning team closely follows various guidelines, including the Complete Streets Handbook, Vision Zero recommendations, and ADA regulations, to ensure that the potential Indego station is safe not only for users but also for all Philadelphians who share the proposed space. Once the location has received all its required approvals, the installation team is deployed to assemble the Indego stations you see in your community. Indego’s amazing technicians make each installation look seamless. 

We reached out to one of Indego’s field technicians who helped install the station at Vare Rec and they had this to say about their work at Indego:

Our work is important because it aligns with our overall mission and helps connect people throughout the city in a green, health-focused, and financially sustainable way. We are also passionately motivated and enthused when the public has a positive reception with our work/presence around the city.”

David, Indego Field Technician

Indego has been partnering with the City this year to bring new stations to Rebuild sites and Vare Rec is one of these sites. 

“Working with neighbors and community members on the future of Vare Recreation Center has been energizing,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “This community has been excited and involved every step of the way and we can’t wait to break ground on this Rebuild project.” 

Each new Indego station builds partnerships that turn into relationships that go beyond a bike. Our common connections are simply the need to share resources, empower communities, and work together to create a system that can meet the needs of every community throughout the city of Philadelphia.

If you would like to see an Indego station in your community, please take the time to fill out our Suggest a Station page on the Indego website. Our team is carefully reviewing these suggestions and using them to inform our 2022 expansion planning.

The Better Bike Share Partnership is an effort led by the City of Philadelphia that works to ensure that Indego bike share is accessible to all Philadelphians. The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by the JPB Foundation.

This blog was written by Stephanie Ridgeway, the Indego Community Coordinator for the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability.

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