We are excited to launch the brand new Indego Passholder of the Month series! This is only awarded to (12) passholders each year. So, it’s a pretty big deal. The ones who ride often and/or share their Indego adventures to social media get this kind of special treatment.
To officially launch this, we challenged the Indego community to ride through the winter months and share their adventures via social media for a chance to win several prizes, including becoming the Passholder of the Month!
Once crowned, the winner gets a grand tour of the Indego wheelhouse, hangs out with the team, gets a lot of swag and so much more. Meet our first winner, Katie Pizziketti (@katiepizziyoga)!
Occupation/Interest: I’m a Research Coordinator at the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities and a Yoga Instructor at Maha Yoga Studio.
Neighborhood: South Philly/Newbold
Favorite thing about Philly:
Previous to Philly, I lived in Chicago, and I value the smaller feel of Philly because it’s easier to explore and feel familiar with much of the city. Philly is a very walkable city compared to Chicago because its layout is denser. I find that the people in Philadelphia are much more genuine and authentic compared to other places that I have lived. Philadelphians tell it like it is!
When did you become a passholder and why?
I had recently moved into a 185-square foot apartment downtown when I started to read the news about Philly’s soon-to-launch bike share program at the beginning of 2015. My apartment had just enough room for me, but there wasn’t any leftover space to store my own bike, so I was excited about the opportunity to have a more flexible transportation option than just using SEPTA and walking (I do not own a car). I signed up right away when the program launched and I have been able to save so much more money than I would have used on tokens with my Indego pass!
Another benefit that drew me to the program was security. I wanted to bike to work at Temple’s main campus, where it is important to lock up a bike carefully, so it was a relief to not have to worry about theft or vandalism of my personal bike. I can return my Indego ride to its dock and simply walk away without fussing with a heavy bike lock.
Do you ride Indego to work? If so, how’s it going?
Not only do I use Indego to commute, but it also helps me connect to appointments during the work day! At the Temple University Collaborative, we travel all over the city to interview people with mental health conditions, and I use Indego to connect to those appointments as often as I can. Sometimes using Indego gets me there faster than taking the subway. Another benefit is that it allows me the chance to be outside and be active during my workday, which helps refresh me and keep me focused. Sometimes when I meet people for appointments, they ask me about Indego, and it becomes a good conversation starter.
I also use Indego to get to and from my yoga studio. After I’m tired out from a hard practice, it’s nice to be able to ride home instead of walking or running, and it complements my yoga practice to continue to be active on my way home.
What views do you see on your commute?
I stick to 13th street and 15th street to bike from South to North Philly. I love to look at all the storefronts and restaurants I pass by around South Street and in Center City. I get to see a lot of people on their way to work in the morning and people going out when I head home at night. I also get to go through some beautiful historic neighborhoods in the Rittenhouse Square area on the way to and from my yoga studio.
Any tips for new Indego riders?
1. Review before you ride! Do a quick visual inspection of the bike before you check it out. You can spot problems like flat wheels quickly this way.
2. Know your number! Always adjust your seat before you ride to the seat height number that is most comfortable for you. I am proud to say I am a number 8!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Indego’s customer service team is friendly, available, and super helpful. I like that they are available by both phone and by text message to help me out and they always solve my problems quickly.
What do you love most about Indego?
I work with people who have disabilities (people with mental health issues like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, some of whom also have physical limitations). Therefore, I have a deep appreciation for the efforts Indego has made to be accessible to everyone, such as offering discounted passes to ACCESS card holders (people who receive public assistance like food stamps) and offering a cash membership option. Many of the people I work with do not have a credit card to pay for transportation.
As part of our goal at the Temple University Collaborative of making community activities available to people with mental health conditions, our research interviews ask people about what activities they are doing, so I get to talk to a lot of people about the barriers they face when trying to get out in the community more. A lot of them say that they have trouble paying for the train or bus to get to do things like go to parks and museums. Making a bike share that is affordable is a big part of making it available to everyone, and I see Indego making a special effort to do that compared to what I know about bike shares in other cities – they even came to table at our Activity Fair we held at Temple to talk to people with mental health conditions about bike share. I’m proud to be a part of such a cutting-edge program which allows me to share this service that I love with so many other wonderful people. They might not have as many resources as I do, but they still deserve to enjoy their transportation in the same way.
Photos below: Katie chatting with a few of our Ops and Customer Service team members