In 2018 Our Streets Minneapolis launched the Bicycle Connectors program, a new initiative to encourage more black women, indigenous women, and women of color to bike for transportation. Cindy Vue, our Bicycle Encouragement and Volunteer Coordinator, partnered with six local organizations serving black women, indigenous women, and women of color in Minneapolis.
Each organization received support from Our Streets Minneapolis to create their own unique program to encourage more of the women they serve to bike for transportation. Funding for the Bicycle Connectors program is provided through travel demand management funds awarded by the Metropolitan Council and administered by Metro Transit.
One organization we partnered with was Jeremiah Program.
Jeremiah Program provides two-generational pathways out of poverty for single mothers and their children by connecting families to safe and affordable housing, career services, quality early childhood education, empowerment and life skills training, and a supportive community.
Through Bicycle Connectors, Jeremiah Program staff taught families about bicycling and increased their access to bikes as a transportation resource and health and wellness tool. To do this, the Jeremiah Program partnered with Nice Ride Minnesota to provide bike share memberships to their residents.
“Residents started biking to class [at University of Minnesota of Twin-Cities] instead of walking or busing,” said Monica Shaffer, a staff member at Jeremiah Program. “Residents were excited to have the opportunity and freedom to bike and transport themselves independently--not reliant on bus schedules or car maintenance.”
Within Jeremiah Program’s two-generational model, the moms who participated in their Bicycle Connectors initiative were also able to model bike riding to their children.
Thank you to Jeremiah Program, and all of the partners and riders who were part of Bicycle Connectors 2018! Are you interested in partnering with Our Streets Minneapolis in the second year of the Bicycle Connectors initiative? Contact Cindy at [email protected].