Riders stranded by the SEPTA strike pedaled to work and school Tuesday and Philly’s bikeshare program Indego is doing its best to keep up with demand.
"Indego will provide surplus bike availability & bike parking at select stations throughout Center City," the bikeshare service shared on social media in the moments after SEPTA subway, trolley and bus service in Philadelphia came to a halt.
Part of the plan included upping the amount of bikes available at key pickup kiosks on the edge of the system including 23rd and South and 23rd and Fairmount, said Aaron Ritz, transportation programs manager for City of Philadelphia Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems.
Indego also added valet service at those crucial stations, meaning a staff person was there to collect extra bikes even if there wasn't a spot to park it, said Ritz.
"Not bottomless service but it does allow us to boost service on days like today," said Ritz.
Part of that service included an increase of capacity at popular drop-off points at 18th and JFK in Center City and 36th and Sansom in University City.
"Our intent is to make the commute as easy as possible for all riders," said Ritz.
Indego hopes it can continue to serve its usual users -- they average around 2,400 rides on a normal workday -- while also giving an opportunity for new riders stranded by the SEPTA strike to get on a bike. Indego anecdotally appeared to be busier than normal Tuesday morning, said Ritz.
SEPTA's 5,700 unionized workers leaving bus, trolley and subway service for the nation's sixth-largest transportation system halted Tuesday. No word yet on when the union and SEPTA will come to an agreement to get service rolling again.
Indego plans to revisit what is working for its riders and will keep monitoring the situation as the strike continues, said Ritz.
"Steer what resources we have in the right direction," he said.
Indego planned to keep updating riders via its social media pages available through its website.