First Cohort Seeks to Celebrate Biking in Expansion Neighborhoods
CINCINNATI, OH – Red Bike is expanding with help from the community. The first cohort of Red Bike Community Ambassadors will help build support for bikeshare in Avondale, Evanston, and Walnut Hills, by educating community and hosting bike rides and safety events for residents to learn more about bicycling in their neighborhoods.
The 2023/2024 Red Bike Community Ambassadors are the Avondale Development Corporation, Evanston Community Council, and the Walnut Hills Area Council.
This is a community-led approach to engagement rooted in equity, opportunity, and connection. Red Bike is leveraging the neighborhood’s social infrastructure and knowledge through the Ambassadors, who are leveraging Red Bike’s bikeshare resources and expertise.
“People need a friend in the process – someone to vouch for the new thing, someone to show them how it works, how it might be most useful,” says Red Bike Engagement Manager Elese Daniel, “We’ve got bikes, we’ll put them out there, they’ll be accessible, but the Ambassadors are the connection. They’re the familiar face who shows you how to check out a bike, they help you raise your seat for a more comfortable ride, they tell you the safest route to the park. Everyone needs a bike friend.”
This past March, Red Bike put out a call for applicants for the new Community Ambassadors program, a $3,000 mini-grant for nonprofit organizations in their expansion neighborhoods. Three organizations were accepted.
“Bike infrastructure only succeeds when it is surrounded by social infrastructure: The people who make the direct connections,” said Red Bike Executive Director Doug McClintock. “By working with the Community Ambassadors, we hope to further empower the neighborhood and usher in new bike leaders – people who grow bike riding in their neighborhoods, in their way.”
The Community Ambassadors program is supported through grant funding from the Better Bikeshare Partnership and is part of Red Bike’s Living Lab initiatives, which prioritize bikeshare equity and access. Red Bike was awarded the Living Lab grant in 2020 and has spent the past few years growing and diversifying ridership, implementing new outreach programming with partners, and expanding the bikeshare network to new neighborhoods.
There will be future opportunities for other organizations to apply to be Red Bike Community Ambassadors. Red Bike plans to pursue another round of the Community Ambassador program alongside future expansions to Roselawn and Bond Hill.
Avondale Development Corporation directs the revitalization of Avondale by developing housing, real estate, and economic initiatives while working collaboratively with residents and partners to address priorities that promote well-being and quality of life. www.growavondale.com
The Evanston Community Council is dedicated to the well-being of all Evanston residents and the development of the community through education, business, and spirituality. www.evanstoncinci.org
Walnut Hills Area Council is a vehicle of maximum participation through which persons who live, work, own business/property, or otherwise actively demonstrate interest in the area can work together cooperatively for the preservation of the community and enhancement of the quality of life therein. www.wearewalnuthills.org
The Better Bike Share Partnership is a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to build equitable and replicable shared micromobility systems. The partners include The City of Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation. Initially funded in 2014 for a three-year period, The JPB Foundation has continued to support the program, most recently in 2020 for an additional three years. www.betterbikeshare.org
Red Bike is Cincinnati’s non-profit station-based bike share system. We are a small local team connecting people to places and each other by providing a reliable, low-cost, green transportation option. We partner with communities to improve lives through bikes. We are working toward a more just and joyful transportation network by changing how people move. www.cincyredbike.org