The Textizen Blog

OCT 06 2014

Philly Bike Share Crowdsources Station Locations with Textizen

Bike Share art with bicycle

Image via temple_sea on Instagram

How do you ask for local input on bike sharing infrastructure that doesn’t exist yet, and generate excitement and anticipation for the arrival of this new mode of travel? Call Textizen, give us a week to get organized, and open your doors to hundreds of comments from soon-to-be riders.

With the help of our friends at OpenPlans, a local mural artist, and an energetic street team, Philly Bike Share and Textizen launched a mobile engagement and smart map outreach scheme that demonstrates what is possible with 21st century outreach technology.

“We’re the first bike-share system in the country to take this approach to public outreach,” said Andrew Stober, Chief of Staff at the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities. “We really wanted to do this in a way that would be much more active in engaging the public.”

Outreach Starts on the Ground

The city-wide outreach began with vibrant decals designed by a local mural artist appearing on sidewalks across the city. The attention-grabbing “medallions” designate almost 100 proposed bike share station locations, prompting neighbors and passersby to text in and share their thoughts on the location in real time.

Philly Bike Share sidewalk art

Image via greenphillyblog on Instagram

Textizen sends all survey responses to OpenPlans’s interactive online map, which presents the same survey for web-based input.

Philly Bike Share sidewalk art

Image via Philly Bike Share

This collaboration is helping Bike Share narrow down potential station locations with an accessible and far-reaching effort that is getting noticed. The project has collected over 700 text message comments in less than three weeks, and responses continue to pour in.

From Mobile Outreach to Staying Connected

For Philly Bike Share, though, this is just the beginning of the public dialogue: survey respondents will receive updates and future surveys, allowing them to continue their participation as the project proceeds. Equipped with email addresses and phone numbers, Bike Share will be able to ensure awareness and utilization from the moment the service launches in spring of 2015.

We’re thrilled to see how many Philadelphians are participating in this effort, and we look forward to bringing this innovation in public outreach to other cities.

If you’d like to learn more about how mobile can make public engagement easier than hopping on a bicycle, get in touch: hello@textizen.com.

Read more about the project at philly.com.