While coronavirus has city agencies on high alert and panicked people emptying shelves of hand sanitizer, Philadelphia’s bike-share program is riding high. Indego clocked 14,000 rides during the first nine days of March, that’s close to twice the number from 2019.
The numbers continue a hot streak for Indego. Ridership set a record with more than 86,000 rides for the January and February months. Last year those numbers were around 63,000. This year beat out the record high set in 2017 at 81,000.
Aaron Ritz, transportation programs manager for the city’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, attributes the jump in ridership to the unseasonably temperate weather.
“I think the early spring this year has been a positive thing for our program overall,” Ritz said.
The highest ridership months are generally July, August and September with around 100,000 rides.
But the bike share’s success reflects a trend anecdotally observed in New York City and Wuhan, China, among other cities, as coronavirus-wary commuters seek alternatives to crowded mass transit.
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