The Kansas University School of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, in partnership with the Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority, conducted an HIA to inform the implementation and possible expansion of a bike share program in Topeka, Kansas. The assessment looked at how bike sharing, cycling, and active transport could affect physical activity levels, safety and incidences of injury, access to resources (e.g., groceries, medical care), and quality of life. The HIA found that the program could not, by itself, improve community access to resources, quality of life, or physical activity but could produce beneficial health effects if implemented in combination with infrastructure improvements and stakeholder outreach and engagement.
The HIA offered recommendations on placement of the bicycles in the community to promote health and equity.
As of January 2016, the Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority has ordered at least 100 additional bicycles for the bike share program and has expressed its intent to use the HIA recommendations to inform their placement. The authority is also conducting a community survey to identify facilitators of and barriers to use of bike share, as well as community transportation needs.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.