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Embedding Equity in Micromobility: A Conversation with Waffiyyah Murray


Waffiyyah Murray is a nationally recognized expert in transportation equity with a background in nonprofit leadership and youth development. As the program manager for Indego, Philadelphia’s bike share program, Waffiyyah works to address barriers to the use of bike share in low income communities and communities of color, and increase equitable access in bike share systems nationally. She is also the Vice President of the North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association (NABSA) Board of Directors and chairs their DEIB committee. 



What got you interested in the world of micromobility?


Waffiyyah: I’m a strong advocate for access. My life’s work even before coming to the transportation field has been around providing access to my community and breaking down barriers that limit access. Micromobility provides people access to much-needed resources such as school, work, medical care, and more. Being able to provide people access to affordable and healthy transportation is what got me interested in this work and what keeps me going even when the work gets tough.


Image from rideindego.com.


In your opinion, what have been the greatest successes of the Indego Bike Share Program in Philadelphia? How has your experience in this role informed your other professional interests?


Waffiyyah: I think the greatest success of Indego has been the impact that our work has had on the shared micromobility field. When we launched Indego, we set out to create a bike share program that centered equity in a meaningful way. Back in 2015, there weren’t many systems with an equity focus model that we could learn from. Being able to serve as that model for new and existing systems has been an honor. Managing Indego has informed some of my interests by allowing me to share and replicate lessons learned in bike share to other forms of transportation, including infrastructure and bike lane projects, needing a meaningful community engagement lens.



We noticed that you led a roundtable discussion around the release of the NABSA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Toolkit. What were interesting things that you learned from that discussion?


Waffiyyah: During that roundtable, everyone was on board with implementing more DEIB in their work, and the toolkit was a great resource for that. Something I heard from many participants is that one of the main struggles they experience is getting their leadership on board with implementing DEIB in a meaningful and sustainable way. I’m hoping this toolkit and other works from NASBA can help support those with similar struggles.


What has been the most rewarding part of chairing the DEIB committee and serving as Vice President of the NABSA Board of Directors?


Waffiyyah: The most rewarding part of serving as chair of the DEIB committee is being able to convene and meet with such an awesome group of people working to advance DEIB in shared micromobility. I’ve learned so much from the folks on the committee and it challenges me never to feel complacent and to always work towards new innovative ways to advance DEIB in shared micromobility. The most rewarding part of serving as Vice President of NABSA has been having a seat at the table and a voice in the decision-making of NABSA and its future. I also enjoy convening with my fellow board of directors and executive committee members to help NABSA continue being the leading source in shared micromobility.


Micromobility and DEIB practices are constantly evolving. What excites you most about the future of micromobility and DEIB promising practices? 


Waffiyyah: I’m excited about the future of shared micromobility. Systems have continued to see growth in ridership and diversity of riders utilizing the systems. As more systems expand with e-bikes, electric charging stations, adaptive bikes, and more, we can continue providing access and alleviating user barriers.


 

Inspired by the innovative work Waffiyyah is doing to advance equity in shared micromobility? Be sure to check out the NABSA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Toolkit and read our recent blog to learn how Fourth Economy and Steer leveraged expertise in equity-focused initiatives and new mobility to develop the toolkit.

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