Bicycle Transit Systems is a Philadelphia-based business that specializes in bike share launch, operations, and management. Comprised of the most experienced bike share operations team in the industry, Bicycle Transit Systems manages all operational elements of Indego, including bike and station maintenance, marketing, and customer service.
We’re launching a staff Q & A spotlight series to compliment the Indego Street Team and Ambassador spotlight series. These spotlights are an opportunity for you to learn more about the dream team that keeps Indego rolling. From bike mechanics and drivers, to customer service and marketing, this is a wheel treat to get the inside scoop on the 30+ employees who make up Indego. Starting with our bike shop crew, meet Jake.
How long have you been part of the Indego team?
Since March 2015, a month before launch day.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your position.
I have lived in Philadelphia for my whole life and have been commuting by bike for 10 years. I graduated from Temple University in 2011 with a degree in Urban Studies and found myself more drawn to working with bikes than anything else. When Indego was gearing up to launch, I found my opportunity to join these worlds and couldn’t be happier about it! My position as Head Mechanic involves a fair amount of fixing bikes but the day to day focus is on troubleshooting issues you would not see outside of bike share systems and paying close attention to how the things we do in the shop and in the field affects the system as a whole and by proxy the city and its bicycle culture.
Tell us what a normal day in the bike shop looks like for you?
A normal day in the world of bike share is hard to define. I expected to be bored working with the same bike all year, but the varied types of use our bikes see definitely gave me a new type of excitement all of the time. Bike sharing is still relatively young and there are a lot of variables that have not been nailed down, as well as new ones popping up all the time. On the daily, time is spent sifting through data to find meaningful trends that can help us hone in on what we can do to provide the best service levels we can.
What do you like the most about working at Bicycle Transit/Indego?
I love the environment I work in: it is challenging, supportive and full of opportunities to create, design, solve and make a visible impact on the city I have invested so much in.
How would you say Indego has impacted Philadelphia?
I would say the biggest thing is slowly but surely increasing the presence and awareness of cyclists. The more people there are riding bikes at any given time, the safer the roads are for all of us. Putting 1000 bikes into the city that anyone can use at any time plays a huge, important role in this.
Do you have any favorite routes? Do tell!
I really enjoy riding from Fairmount to West Philly, both using Fairmount/Spring Garden to the Spring Garden bridge and going down 21st st to Lombard to the South Street Bridge.
What would you say to anyone that might be hesitant about riding in the city?
Philly has improved drastically in terms of safety and accessibility for bikes over the last decade. Now is a great time to continue that trend by getting on a bike and becoming a part of traffic.
- Be sure to give yourself a few feet between yourself and the doors of parked cars.
- If there is a long gap between parked cars, don’t pull into that gap to get out of the way of traffic, people won’t be looking for you when you go to merge back into the moving lane.
- Its always safest to ride in the moving lane in the direction of traffic. Drivers are not looking for cyclists on the sidewalk or going the wrong way.
- Wear a helmet and don’t be discouraged!
What are you up to outside of Indego?
I spend my free time riding road bikes, mountain bikes, and anything in between, rock climbing, hiking, taking photographs, dabbling in metal fabrication, working on my house and spending time with my wife and our cats.