The Resurrection of New Orleans Bike Share

After the city lost its bike share fleet, its former manager pledged to bring it back, and did so under a non-profit model that centers equity for riders and workers.

Read Time: 2 minutes

January 25, 2023, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Row of blue New Orleans bike share bikes at a docked station on street

A Blue Bikes station in 2018. | Kristi Blokhin / Blue Bikes station

“Of the nearly 300 bike-share and scooter-share programs in North America, more than half are privately owned, a figure that is quickly growing. That leaves most micromobility programs vulnerable to market whims, a precarious position for a mode of transportation upon which many people depend,” explains Gabriela Aoun Angueira in Grist.

When the pandemic threatened to permanently end New Orleans’ bike share system—which was suspended in 2020, then passed on to Lime, whose contract was eventually canceled by the city due to disagreements over the introduction of electric scooters—Geoff Coates, former manager of Blue Bikes, decided to create a community-run model and bring bike share back to the city.

Coates reorganized under a new nonprofit called Blue Krewe, which secured funding from prior bike share sponsors Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and relaunched a 500-bike system in September 2021.

According to Aoun Angueira, “Blue Bikes costs less to use now — just 15 cents per minute, or $25 a month for a membership. People who use Medicaid or SNAP benefits pay only $4. The program covers roughly the same area as before, but Blue Krewe has a review process to ensure bikes are distributed equitably.” Blue Krewe also employs full-time workers rather than using the gig economy model. 

The city’s newest climate action plan calls for expanding the system to 2,000 bikes as part of its effort to cut vehicle trips in half by 2030.

Friday, January 20, 2023 in Grist

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee