Start a Bike Share or Bike Hub
A bike hub will be different in every community and should be customized and operated to meet the needs of that community.
DescriptionA bike hub is a customizable station, building, pavilion, or place in a community where residents and visitors can access a variety of bike services, including any combination of a repair station, air, bike rentals or sharing, educational and encouragement programs, short and long term storage, repair training programs, and small retail products. A bike hub will be different in every community and should be customized and operated to meet the needs of that community.
Related ToolsWhen paired with other tools, a bike hub can make an even greater and more holistic move toward sustainability in your neighborhood. Think about parks and public spaces, transportation and access, youth education, greening your neighborhood, using vacant lots, and neighborhood safety. Try combining a bike hub with:
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- Reduced greenhouse gases and air pollution because of increased bike trips and reduced car trips
- Recycled, re-purposed, or donated materials used in construction and management
- Increased bikeability with better bike services and amenities, which encourage more people to cycle instead of drive
- Community participation in healthy and beneficial activities
- Equitable forms of transportation, especially for youth and seniors
- Spurred neighborhood investment in bike infrastructure
- More money at local shops and businesses because cyclists tend to spend more than drivers
- Gather Organize a group of residents committed to creating a bike hub. Contact your local neighborhood association, Great Rivers Greenway District (GRG), or Trailnet to see if there are any existing plans for bike amenities in your neighborhood. They may be able to put you in touch with local experts and other interested neighbors and give you guidance about working with the community.
- Organize Create a clear plan for your bike hub. Identify elements to include in your bike hub. Some major things to consider are:
- Will it be a building, a pavilion, or a series of smaller repair stations around the neighborhood?
- Can you partner with a local institution, school, business, church, park, or other organization to create a bike hub in or at an existing building?
- How will it be publicly accessible? Will it be on privately owned land or in an existing building? Will it be in a park, on a sidewalk, or on a vacant lot?
- How will it be managed? Who is in charge of maintenance, stocking, scheduling, etc?
- Will it be staffed? Will volunteers donate time like a bike co-op? Or is it standalone and just available for public use anytime like a bike repair stand?
- Will there be educational programming, bike sharing, training, or organized events/rides? Think about working with a local bike shop or organization to create programming. Download and/or print a copy of the Regional Gateway Bike Plan to see how your neighborhood connects to current or planned bike routes. Also contact the Board of Public Service about bike plans and amenities. Draw maps, write a concise bike hub plan, and clearly show what you plan on creating.
- Design If you are creating a building, structure, or pavilion, you need a site and will have to work with an architect or designer. Try to get services donated from a neighbor, a local design firm, design school students/classes, GRG, or Trailnet. For permitting, work with the Building Division. If you need a site or locations for the bike hub, secure the land (lease or rent) from St. Louis LRA or arrange it with the land owner. If in a park, contact the Parks Department.
- Coordinate If you are installing in a private location - whether a private building lobby or private sidewalk - ensure you have written permission from the owner and clear understanding about the project and who is responsible for long term maintenance/stocking, etc.
- Coordinate If you're installing on a sidewalk, median, plaza, or other public location, work with the City of St. Louis Board of Public Service and the Street Department to get permission and regulations about locations, public safety, and installation requirements.
- Market Create an information/marketing strategy. Consider partnering with an organization like GRG, Trailnet, or a local marketing business to create a name/brand for your bike hub, so you can clearly tell your story, distribute information, and communicate with users. Consider how people will learn about the project, location(s), hours, or programs/events. You can create a website or use other local resources such as the Trailnet or GRG website to advertise events or locations of the bike hub.
- Build Support Get feedback and support. Hold community meeting(s) to build support and address concerns. Include youth, seniors, local bike organizations,your neighborhood association, and nearby businesses.
- Prepare Create a time line for construction/installation. Will construction/ installation be done by community volunteers? What tools, equipment, and safety gear are needed? Advertise workdays and gather a list of volunteers and their various contributions or responsibilities.
- Order Order your supplies in time for your workdays.
- Work Host your workday(s). Plan so volunteers know their roles, all tools are available, and everyone can work efficiently and safely. Ensure that volunteers are wearing proper safety attire.
- Follow Up Document before and after conditions, celebrate your success, and then evaluate, monitor, and maintain the bike hub and its activeness in your community.
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