Member Spotlight: Bikeshare Hawaii’s Biki System’s Rapid Growth and Inclusive Culture

In just two years since its launch, Honolulu’s Biki system has grown to the sixth most-used system in the US. The system and its operator, the nonprofit Bikeshare Hawaii, have developed unique marketing collaborations with their tourism bureau, as well as cultivated a strong female following.

Biki launched its Street Art Audio Tour in July 2019. Photo Courtesy of Shaka Guide

Working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Shaka Guide and POW! WOW! Hawaii, Biki created a self-guided audio tour featuring street art throughout the island. The free tour includes over 40 minutes of information about the art and artists, as well as a step-by-step guide to navigating more than a dozen murals by bike. The tour also provides additional tips for riders, including popular places to eat and shop in the area and bike safety tips. The tour has been downloaded nearly 300 times since it launched in July, and several users have shared their photos on social media.

“At Biki, we are always looking for ways to work with partners that allow us to create opportunities for residents and visitors to experience all that Hawaii has to offer through Biki,” said Kelsey Colpitts, Marketing and Communications Manager for Bikeshare Hawaii. “Our partnership with Hawaii Tourism is just one of several successful collaborations that have benefited Biki riders.”

Biki has also created a unique payment structure that has proven to be its most popular: 63% of users utilize the Free Spirit Plan. This $20 option allows for 300 minutes of riding and lasts a year, making an attractive choice for the occasional rider. This plan offers more flexibility than the standard monthly or annual plan types, giving residents who may not live in the service area a reason to sign up. Residents also use this plan type if they prefer to take rides of a longer duration and want to avoid the 30 or 60 minute time limit. Some have even competed in triathlons and Century rides using Biki’s Free Spirit Plan!

The Biki system also sees a higher-than-average proportion of female-identifying riders. At 44%, the system is 10% over the national average of 34% female ridership. To cultivate this ridership, Biki waited to launch the system until the launch of PBSC’s FIT model. This smaller bike was about 10 pounds lighter than the standard model deployed in other cities, making it easier to maneuver and more comfortable for riders of all sizes. The pre and post-launch marketing strategies very intentionally utilized photos and videos of women in dresses, high heels and business clothes to promote women on bikes and demonstrate that Biki is for everyone, not just the experienced cyclist.

Biki has worked to develop an approachable system that supports riders at all skill levels; it’s important to note that 70% of Biki riders do not consider themselves to be “cyclists.” From its casual and easy payment plan, to its efforts toward inclusivity, Bikeshare Hawaii has built a system that embodies Hawaii’s welcoming culture.