Indego is Expanding!

In June, the City of Philadelphia announced that Bicycle Transit Systems had been awarded a ten-year concessionaire contract to continue operating the Indego bike share system.

Bicycle Transit Systems is a Philadelphia based company which has been responsible for building and operating the Indego bike share program over the past five years. Bicycle Transit Systems has helped Indego expand from 60 stations and 600 bicycles to more than 140 stations and 1,400 bicycles, including the introduction of electric bikes in 2019. Since launch, more than four million rides have been taken on Indego.

Over the past five years, Bicycle Transit Systems has worked closely with the City of Philadelphia as a ‘living laboratory’ for the Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP), a national initiative focused on creating equity in bike share and shared micro-mobility. This work is poised to continue and expand alongside the Indego program.   

“Bicycle Transit Systems has proven that they share the City’s values for mobility, sustainability, and equity, and we’re thrilled that they will continue operating and growing Indego for the next ten years,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, which manages the Indego program for the City. “We thank all of our partners, including members of City Council, whose approval of the new contract was crucial to moving forward.”

“As title sponsor since its inception, Independence is proud to continue our partnership with Indego − one of the most accessible, equitable, and inclusive bike share programs in America,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence Blue Cross President and CEO. “Indego has given tens of thousands of people access to a healthy and fun way to travel through the city. The program’s expansion under Bicycle Transit Systems will allow more people to take advantage of this fantastic resource.”

The new contract, which starts in January, was approved by City Council based on the strength of Bicycle Transit Systems’ application and their excellent track record of running Indego. In this blog, Indego will share more details about the expansion and how to get involved!

Indego Expansion Plan

The expansion of Indego will align with the principles outlined in the 2018 Indego business plan conducted by the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, and the core values of Bicycle Transit Systems.

Over the next five years, Indego is committed to:

  • Increasing the fleet of bicycles to 3,500 bikes, of which half would be Indego Electric.
  • More than doubling the size of the system to 350 stations, reaching more communities within South, West, North, and Northwest Philadelphia.   
  • Expanding the service in a way that balances serving new neighborhoods with densifying the core service area to support increased ridership.
  • Continuing to invest in equity and community engagement initiatives; Indego’s focus on serving low-income and communities of color is a key aspect of the program.
  • Introducing and expanding new technology including electric bikes and energy-saving stations.

Community input will continue to serve as a cornerstone of Indego’s expansion strategy. Read on to learn how you can get involved in Indego’s expansion planning work! 

Two Ways You Can Get Involved in 2021

In 2021, Indego plans to install 600 new docking points (approximately 30 new stations) and introduce 300 electric bikes to the fleet. The focus for system growth in 2021 is expanding Indego’s service in West and parts of South Philadelphia while also adding more stations to the existing service area. The map below indicates the general expansion plan for 2021.

Indego is also working on a five-year expansion plan, which will serve areas not depicted in the 2021 expansion zone. More information will be released as it becomes available later next year.

1. Submit a Station Request on the Indego Website

Indego relies on community input as part of its expansion planning, and as long-term expansion planning begins, the team wants to know where you would like to see new Indego stations. An online tool has been added to the Indego website to help gather this feedback. Click here to learn more about what makes a great station location and to submit your suggestion!

Don’t have internet access? Text or call the Indego support team at (844) 446-3346 to provide your input.    

2. Become an Indego Expansion Liaison

The Indego team is seeking up to seven Indego Expansion Liaisons who will serve as advisers to the Indego program as it expands to several new neighborhoods in 2021. If you have an interest in bike share and connections with communities in West or South Philadelphia, consider applying to be an Indego Expansion Liaison! 

Want more information about this opportunity?Read the full Indego Expansion Liaison job description here and/or attend the virtual information session on Thursday, December 17th.  Candidates should submit their applications by January 4th, 2021.


Follow us on social media @rideIndego andsubscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about the Indego expansion and to receive other system announcements.  

Direct press inquiries to press@phila.gov 

12 Comments

Stanley Horwitz

Good news about the expansion into South and West Philly! How about expanding into North Philadelphia to serve the area Temple University Health Sciences campus at Broad & Tioga?

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Peter Salzarulo Jr.

Regarding the five year expansion plan…Who believes half of the fleet bikes being electric is a good idea? I will never ride one and it will reduce the number of available “regular” bikes. Please reconsider.

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Roan OSullivan

I love the electric bikes, and they are frequently unavailable at locations in my immediate area. I think expanding Electric Bikes is an excellent idea. If regular bikes were in short supply I might agree with this comment, but I rarely find the regular bikes to be unavailable.

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Shawn

I wish you will reconsider the plan to have electric bikes as half of the fleet. I prefer paying for the monthly pass and know I’m done with Indego expenses for the month, and while it may be only 15 cents / min it adds up. Quite often I arrive at a station and the only bikes left are electric, meaning that others are not interested in electric as well.

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Emily Hooven

If you arrive at a station and the only bike there is electric, you will not be charged a per-minute fee for riding it!

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Jacob

That’s great to hear! I would hope the same policy would kick in when the only remaining conventional bikes are disabled. Usually I see two or three disabled bikes and two or three electric bikes when a station is down to the dregs.

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Roan OSullivan

Is there a reason why we don’t see any Docking Stations “deep” inside Fairmount Park? For example I’d love to see docking stations on Belmont Plateau, or along MLK drive. Often my family and I go for a walk in the park, and if we could just hop on a bike to go back home that would be expand the amount of park we are able to explore. It would also be helpful for joggers and folks going to explore specific areas of the park. Fairmount Park is an amazing resource, but access is terrible for those of us without cars. Adding stations within the park would help with this.

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JJ Tiziou

Before adding more density to the core, I would rather see a concerted effort to send lines of docking stations out along major arterials / axes across the whole city. From a standpoint of equity and access and justice, this feels important.

I understand that there may not be resources to deploy full coverage in every neighborhood right away, but having stations all the way to the top of Broad St, along Market all the way to 69th St, and all the way out to the city’s edge on roads like Lancaster, Ridge, Germantown, 5th St etc seems achievable and feels like it should be a priority.

I was also not excited about the plan to have 50% electric bikes. Thank you Emily for addressing the concern about added costs for users, but a few concerns remain: a) added costs for the system, when those $$ could better be spent on more docks, and b) compromising the health & wellness advantage of cycling.

25% seems like a more reasonable target, and honestly I don’t really want/need the electric bikes at all. I’d rather see some with a bit more cargo capacity to help w/ errand running.

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Luc Vitry

I agree with JJ. 25% seems enough. Many riders seem to enjoy the physical exercise of biking and the money saved could go towards more stations

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Michael Weinberg

I always found it odd that there are no stations between South and Locust from Front St all the way to 9th. That’s a very popular area that could be better served!

It would be incredible to have more stations in popular places in Fairmount Park (e.g. Laurel Hill Cemetery, Belmont Plateau, along Kelly Drive). These are some of Philly’s best spots!

I also find a fleet of 50% electric bikes to be very unappealing. The Indego bikes are a great way to get some exercise (is disabling the engine a possibility?).

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Steve

Congrats on the expansion! Any talk of bringing back the hourly-use pricing model? I live in Philly and have my own bike but I do like to use Indigo for a single ride once in a while. However, I prefer not to pay for a full day or buy a monthly membership when I’m just using the Indego bike for an hour here and there.

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Thomas

I also don’t want to see 50% of indigo bikes be electric, it’s going to make it too hard for those of us who don’t want to pay $0.15 a minute to get a regular indigo bike because most people as you can tell on this message board do not prefer electric therefore most of the regular bikes will be taken and will force us to get an electric bike or no bike at all. As someone else said 15 cents a minute does not seem like a lot but it stacks up when you need to use a bike for transportation everyday.

Reply

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