Growing our impact to further fuel shared mobility solutions

A look back: Shift Transit’s 2023 Year In Review

What a year! It is clear that the future of urban mobility relies deeply on innovating shared solutions to optimize current and future city landscapes. Shift Transit’s continued commitment to its clients and cities in providing adaptable, resilient and results-driven operational solutions is unwavering. Our local teams across North America dedicate themselves to operating shared mobility solutions that make an impact on how people choose and experience transportation options as we all re-imagine how cities move people. Today, Shift powers 10 mobility programs across North America, managing over 60,000 assets on a daily basis (as of Feb 1!), while delivering close to 8 million trips in 2023 alone. Many of our mobility program partners experienced record ridership, membership as well as system expansions. As mobility operations partners, our job is clear – work hand-in-hand with each client partner to devise strategies and executional plans that will meet the customer demands to help grow and scale the programs. We’re excited to share how 2023 was a pivotal year for us and our public, private and non-profit sector partners!

Welcoming three more shared mobility programs

In Spring of 2023, we transitioned two micromobility programs in Portland and Chicago. Working with Lyft, we welcomed Chicago’s Divvy scooter fleet and the BIKETOWN bike share program in Portland to our roster. Seamless operator transitions are vital and extremely important as to not disrupt the customer experience and level of service, while ramping up all operational aspects of the program. After navigating multiple mobility operation transitions, we know that working closely with client partners and developing detailed project plans are key to a successful launch.

In addition, Shift Transit transitioned operations for Via’s largest paratransit program in Hampton Roads, Virginia. With a large focus on increasing fleet availability, our team went straight to work implementing and executing a vigorous preventative maintenance program that resulted in achieving 100% vehicle availability within 3 months. This means more vehicles available for critical customer groups that rely on paratransit services to get to and from medical appointments and other daily life needs.

Best operational year in Toronto

What is abundantly clear is that Torontonians embrace bikesharing as a desired way to commute and move around the city. Whether it’s a first mile or last mile solution, the fast and efficient way to get to and from work or riding to brunch, running errands or a leisure ride along the waterfront, Bike Share Toronto has become part of the city’s identity. In 2023, the system saw a record-breaking 5.7 million trips, up 24% from 2022 (4.6M rides). 

Alongside record-breaking ridership, the membership base also grew by double digits as well as the system footprint. The Bike Share Toronto system has been growing every year since 2017, with last year’s expansion seeing 160 additional stations and 1,800 more bikes, including 1,300 e-bikes. The operational lift to support such large-scale expansions is massive, which also shifts the usage patterns and therefore the operational approach. Being agile and able to pivot using historical trends against real-time data is a key tool that helps drive our success in Toronto. 

Our team was also proud to support the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) in two other program milestones: 1. Launching the exclusive partnership with Tangerine Bank and 2. Launching the Reduced Fare Pass Program.

Our first multi-model docked program!

Dock-based micromobility systems stand the test of time. Over the last decade, the Bike Chattanooga bikesharing program has had great adoption. Since Shift Transit assumed system management in 2017, the yearly ridership has almost doubled. In partnership with Lyft, we successfully launched the first PBSC Urban Solutions and Shift Transit docked scooter program, fully integrated into the existing bikesharing system. Within the first 4 weeks, the scooters represented 20% of usage, positively impacting the mobility options available to residents and visitors alike. 

Continuing to electrify

One global trend in the micromobility space is the movement towards growing electrification. E-bikes and e-scooters expand the reach, attracting new rider audiences. We have seen the great impact e-bikes have made in various Shift operated markets. Last year in Toronto, the e-fleet grew by 1,300 pedal assist e-bikes, continuing the path to reach the goal of 20% fleet electrification via TPA’s four-year growth plan. Across the border in Detroit, another 50 e-bikes were added. E-bike trips represented a whopping 21% of total ridership, while only representing 16% of the total fleet. A perfect example of the power of electrification. 

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, Mayor Tim Kelly supported the announcement of more e-bikes and station electrification to the growing shared mobility program. 

“Bike Chattanooga is an important part of what it means to experience Chattanooga for so many of our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Tim Kelly. “Everyday, their fleet of bikes help folks commute, run errands, and sightsee in a cost-effective, fun, and flexible way. Expanding programs like these help us meet our transportation and mobility goals, and I look forward to seeing this resource continue to grow in the years ahead.”

Hosting NABSA Conference at our Toronto HQ

Before we capped off a wildly successful 2023 with our partners, Shift Transit was honored to co-host the Toronto leg of the North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association (NABSA) conference. We welcomed industry colleagues from across the continent to tour and learn about our operational strategies and tactics, operating one of the largest and most successful bikesharing systems in North America.

Working with our partners at Lyft, we are thrilled to have transitioned the Divvy Bike Share program on February 1, 2024. Shift Transit will lead the day-to-day operations of both the scooter share and bike share programs in Chicago.

The bar was set high in 2023 – our team could not be more excited to take on 2024 and continue to adapt and change the way people choose and experience shared mobility options in cities. Let’s ride!

Shift Transit Employee Spotlight – Ashar Ibrahim

Diving into operating a large urban bikesharing system

Delivering shared mobility services is a complex operation. From mechanics and station technicians to in-field mobility staff and more, micromobility operations is a multifaceted exercise. Shift Transit is proud to power multiple mobility programs across North America, including 7 bike share programs. We have been working alongside the Bike Share Toronto program since 2017 and seen the growth from 1.5M trips in 2017 to 5.7M rides in 2023 – a whopping 280% increase in usage! Behind the operational curtains are some key leaders that focus on building, developing and fine-tuning how day-to-day operations are run. Today we spotlight Ashar Ibrahim, who recently was promoted from the Head of Operations and Excellence to Director of Operations in Toronto. Ashar’s unwavering commitment and core understanding of how to navigate the ups and downs of team management within the bikesharing world has greatly contributed to the Bike Share Toronto operations.

Q: Ashar, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am committed and meticulous in envisioning the successful completion of anything that is entrusted to me. My past experiences in the service industry, love for the city, and interest in sustainable modes of transportation led me to take up the exciting opportunity of working with Shift Transit and the Bike Share Toronto program in 2020. It was the same year when the whole world was brought to a standstill due to Covid-19. The crisis opened avenues for me to reflect on how I could use my skills towards innovative operational approaches in support of urban living and mobility. This period of global pause allowed our city and communities to reflect on and reimagine the essence of urban transportation. While bicycles continued to remain a symbol of sustainable travel, I recognized that my strength in people management paired with technological skills could be applied to continue to move the needle in urban development.

Over time, I continue to hone my experience and skills in building high-performance teams that thrive on the evolving demands of our growing city. I take pride in sharing the wealth of knowledge I’ve accumulated across various roles, continuously striving to foster a culture of positive collaboration and innovation.

I didn’t get an initial “Yes, you’re hired!” when I first applied for a position – but that didn’t stop me. My fundamental belief in working towards success turned an unfavorable situation into an opportunity for growth. The initial setbacks were critical learning curves and my resolve never wavered. They served as catalysts, driving me to push the boundaries, to achieve both my personal ambitions and professional aspirations of enhancing urban life. This strengthened my focus and reinforced my drive to make a meaningful impact on city life, which landed me an operations job working to deliver Bike Share Toronto.

Outside of work, I hold a personal commitment to serving the community and helping to enrich the fabric of our city. I find joy in exploring diverse cuisines as well as exploring and learning new technological advancement techniques. These pursuits are more than hobbies, they are channels through which I bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to my team, constantly aiming to elevate the collective contribution to our city.

Q: You have been working with the Bike Share Toronto program for over 3 years now. How have you seen the system and operational approach transform over the years?

A: The last 3 years have seen tremendous growth in many respects. An area of the business that I have seen develop leaps and bounds is leading our day-to-day operations through a data-driven approach, which enables real-time decision-making. By leveraging data, we have been able to make informed and timely choices to positively impact our operations.

We have demonstrated openness and adaptability, especially in challenging environments, like through the COVID-19 pandemic and severe winter months. By being receptive to pivoting operational strategies to meet environmental and customer demands, we have been able to navigate obstacles that arose during operations, and at the same time expanded our reach by increasing the number of stations available to our customers.

In parallel, we have focused on fostering a culture among the staff, who value continuous improvement and professional development. This was possible through great lateral and vertical communication and relentless training of individuals, that kept the team aligned with the vision of growth and operational excellence.

Q: The Bike Share Toronto system footprint has grown from 200 stations and 2,000 pedal bikes in 2017 to 700+ stations and 9,000+ bikes (including 1,850 e-bikes) in 2023. As the system continues to expand, how do you ensure the team is ready to operationally deliver a growing market?

A: We believe our team is the core ingredient to our strength in execution. Clear and effective communication ensures the team is aligned with Bike Share Toronto’s overarching yearly targets, which then filters through the day-to-day operational objectives and expectations. We have regular one-on-one meetings between senior management and staff, in-person feedback sessions, and anonymous eNPS surveys to assist in keeping up with best practices. It also helps us to brainstorm ideas and pivot practices that are no longer practical for us.

Another aspect that we have been able to tap into is individual skill development. Employees who have shown potential to take the program to the next level have been given opportunities to enhance their skills and responsibilities; their growth is targeted through training programs, coaching from senior management, and most importantly through encouraging individuals to continuously learn and keep up with the trends and best practices in the industry.

As the program expands, the team is prepared to adapt and be flexible in response to unforeseen challenges. Maintaining best practices along with research promotes problem-solving skills among the team members and helps them to navigate through evolving situations. The managers and teams continuously collaborate to foster a positive culture for the team, sharing skill sets, leveraging each team member’s strengths, and tracking key performance indicators will remain key contributors to successful program delivery.

Q: Rebalancing is one of the most complex tasks in shared mobility. How do you manage the right balance of supply and demand to meet customer needs?

Over the years, we have tested several strategies to find the right balance of supply and demand to meet customer needs. We have found that real-time data analysis matched with historical data points plays an important role in predicting customer demand, anticipating peak usage hours, and highlighting popular, busy locations so that we can schedule and allocate our resources effectively.

Our operations team coordinates with each other to deploy and redistribute bikes within the areas of high demand, to service all pockets of the system or bring them back to our facility for repair.

With the growth of the program, Bike Share Toronto’s popularity has grown beyond the peak summer season, especially as a mode of transportation to and from work and through daily life. Last year alone, we executed hundreds of valet service locations that helped empower users to use bike share to reliably get to and from work in the downtown core, as well as provide unlimited bike and dock availability at major events and popular weekend leisure routes. 

Training the mobile in-field team to service valet locations has positively affected how we ensure bikes and docks are available to riders across the city, where stations or the number of docking points may be limited.

Q: As Director of Operations, you have a crucial role to play leading high-performing teams in field operations, bike repair, technicians and operational associates. How do you approach balancing building great teams with ensuring these teams deliver on operational targets?

A: Building high-performance teams that gain experience, possess the necessary skills, fit the team culture, and are willing to learn is an ongoing process. A thorough recruitment process ensures that we evaluate both technical competence and ability to work as a team. The foundation of every team is further strengthened with continuous training and development efforts.

I believe in defining operational targets with each team to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and the outcomes we are collectively working towards. The trust in everyone’s capabilities to be a true team player has been the cornerstone of our success. We provide opportunities for professional development and foster a learning experience and culture that has driven positive results for operational targets.

Q: What are you most excited about for 2024?

A: Productivity and innovation. I am excited to leverage the full potential of our mobility operations service with the right talent and through upskilling members on the team. This will drive the success we are reaching for and help us contribute to another record-breaking year for Bike Share Toronto.

I am also keen to work with our current vendors and build these vendor business relationships to reinforce our objectives that positively impact our operations.

Apart from the operational aspect of the business, I know that the Bike Share Toronto program has contributed to reducing the carbon footprint as well as helping to alleviate the City’s traffic during peak hours. Thanks to the growth of technological innovation, we can revolutionize various aspects of our operations to continue to make a broader impact.

Meeting The Operational Demands Of A Growing Bike Share System

In September, the cities of Toronto and Hamilton had the pleasure of co-hosting hundreds of industry colleagues to the North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association annual conference.  Together with Bike Share Toronto, we welcomed many participants to our operational headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Lively conversations spurred with other Cities, operators, micromobility program owners and advocates. Important topics were discussed around fleet rebalancing, customer satisfaction, operationalization of e-bikes, capacity and resource planning for an ever-changing landscape and much more.

There was healthy curiosity around the strong relationship Toronto Parking Authority and Shift Transit have fostered to manage and grow the Bike Share Toronto program to where it is today. That relationship is founded on a shared vision of building and operating a world class bikesharing system that serves Toronto residents and its visitors. Last year, the system saw 4.6 million trips, a 29% year-over-year increase in usage, which translated to 8.5 million pounds of carbon emissions saved from Toronto’s pedal power. How do we continue to support the demand for sustainable mobility solutions as a way of commuting and traveling the city?

Growth: 2017 to 2023

In April 2017, when Shift Transit was awarded the operator contract of the Bike Share Toronto program, the system was 2,000 bikes and 200 stations large. Fast forward to October 2023, Bike Share Toronto currently has over 9,000 bikes (1,825 of which are e-bikes) and more than 800 stations, with further expansion taking place through the end of the year. Expanding the system more than 240% in six years has been a big lift for both Bike Share Toronto and Shift Transit as we worked jointly on the on-the-ground planning and execution.

As the fleet and system footprint expands, operational challenges come with this growth. We need to service more neighborhoods, more riders and travel further distances to opposite ends of the system, while battling Toronto’s traffic, a city ranking 3rd for most congested city in North America. Ensuring the right mix of expertise and resource allocation is essential to operating one of North America’s largest bikesharing systems.

“As the Bike Share Toronto network expands from the city’s core further into the suburbs, we need an operator who can take on challenges and effectively help us create a great customer experience for riders. Shift Transit shares our commitment in achieving those” remarks Justin Hanna, Director, Bike Share Toronto at the Toronto Parking Authority.

We share two (of many!) key strategic approaches the Shift Transit team prioritizes to support success:

Daily operational excellence

Within the micromobility world, rebalancing is often referred to as the “unicorn” of our industry. Where are bikes needed and when? The art of rebalancing is a complex canvas and in Toronto, our team has focused on a winning approach:

Coupling ‘the predictable’ – leading with AI that studies historical trends to “predict” the future – with ‘the art’ which is the human input to evaluate what will deviate from the historical (such as events, closures). This allows us to adjust where we put our resources to have the biggest impact on usage needs. During the course of the year, the Shift team runs approximately 1,500 valet service locations to support bike demand and supply. Valet locations are staffed to help commuters during peak commuting periods, recreational riders on weekends and provide reliable service at high-attendance events, such as concerts and professional sports games. The goal of providing valet service is to increase capacity and drive consistent demand, for an overall positive customer experience. On any given day in peak season, there is a robust rebalancing fleet hitting the streets to move bikes and a dedicated staff working the many facets of the operation.

Develop team morale

Running a micromobility system is a complex operation. Recognizing the most amazing team on the ground delivering the system and driving an exceptional customer experience every single day is a high priority at Shift Transit. Because without the entire team, success would not be possible. A key component within our organization is to foster personal and professional development opportunities. Offering new challenges or prioritizing real-time performance check-ins to foster growth are essential. 

Every couple of months, we conduct an eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) survey to measure how team members feel about the organization. It’s an opportunity to share valuable and anonymous feedback. Together, we take every occasion to celebrate wins and be social with colleagues across departments with regular food truck and lunch events. #Oneteam

As a front-line operator for a growing micromobility program, we must continue to drive better productivity and efficiencies in our operations to support an expanding system, while still being able to pivot to meet challenges and customer needs. Operating a micromobility system is a complex task, however, with skilled expertise behind each function, we can deliver the results needed to power a successful active transportation solution.

A look back: Shift Transit’s 2022 Year In Review

A booming year for mobility with a connected future

2022 was a year of renewed connection, as people, communities and cities across borders moulded to a newly shaped normal. A normal that has people seeking connection and face-to-face interaction, whether in professional or personal settings and shared mobility is playing a vital role. Whether it’s bike sharing, scooter sharing, car sharing or para/microtransit, many forms of transportation are helping deliver this connection piece as an increasing number of people are discovering, adopting and using new forms of shared mobility.

At Shift Transit, we continued to work closely with partners and Cities, resulting in record-breaking growth and innovation. The impact that shared mobility has on communities and cities really highlights how important our work is in providing reliable transportation services.

The increased usage of shared mobility had our team busier than ever this past year. From managing a fully electric bike share fleet, through system expansions, to operating the 4th largest bike share system in North America, many of our markets saw big advancements in:

  • ridership
  • membership
  • system expansion 
  • accessibility

Doubling down on this growth are future plans to continue propelling micromobility as an integral part of everyday life. Let’s have a closer look at how Shift Transit, hand-in-hand with our partners, delivered more shared mobility options as city transportation landscapes continue to innovate and evolve. 


📍 Toronto, Canada: Bike Share Toronto

Ending the year with over 1 MILLION more rides than in 2021, Bike Share Toronto set a new record of 4.6 MILLION trips. Things really accelerated in Toronto in 2022, with expansion, e-bikes and system electrification to welcoming more riders than ever before to bike share! Bike Share Toronto closed the year with incredible results:

  • 4.6M trips – 29% YOY increase
  • 178% YOY increase in e-bike trips
  • 30% YOY growth in users of the system
  • 29% YOY growth in memberships sold

Innovating the customer experience was top of mind to make it even easier and seamless for new and returning users to access bikes. In August 2022, Bike Share launched a new all-in-one mobile website platform. The website on mobile now offers all types of pass purchases, bike unlocks and member dashboard access for a levelled up customer experience. Within weeks of launching, we saw a 20% increase in new user transactions from the mobile website portal, with the support of a robust marketing and communications campaign. 

Bike Share Toronto continues to grow in popularity and importance and in September 2022, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) announced the program’s Four Year Growth Plan. Shift Transit is excited to partner with the TPA as it aims to make Bike Share Toronto the best bikesharing system in the world. Since TPA and Shift partnered together, the system footprint has grown upwards of 225%; growing from 200 stations and 2,000 pedal bikes in April 2017 to 655 stations, 6,675 pedal bikes and 525 pedal assist e-bikes at the close of 2022.

2023 promises to be nothing short of exciting! Be sure to follow along.

📍 Detroit, Michigan: MoGo Detroit Bike Share

The MoGo Detroit Bike Share program had a gainful year, celebrating 5 years of service with new stations added and a booming membership base in an ever-changing ‘Motor City’. A total of 6 stations were installed, growing the system to 78 stations across six Metro Detroit cities, while also introducing the program’s first e-stations. Shift Transit led the installation of 2 hardwired e-stations located at the new Michigan Central Station, and 1 solar-powered e-station in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood as part of continuing efforts to electrify the entire system. Additionally, 3 bike share stations were installed in Belle Isle Park, the largest City-owned “island” park in the US, making it the first time bike share is offered as a way to explore the beautiful, big state park that spans 982-acres in the heart of Detroit. In the first month of servicing the island, the 3 stations saw immediate ridership.

Pictured: Skyhook solar e-charging station

As the system footprint grew, so did MoGo’s membership base. Spurred by the partnership with Wayne State that launched in 2021, over 1000 memberships were sold, ranking the stations around the campus within the top ten utilized in 2022. Overall, member ridership was up 45% year-over-year. This usage is a true testament to the necessity and success of the partnership, giving students, faculty and staff an accessible and affordable mobility option in Detroit.

Before the year came to a close, a new partnership was established with DivDat, broadening the cash payment option with DivDat’s widely accessible, easy, and real-time payment processing platform, continuing to drive equitable access to bike share in Detroit.

📍 Chattanooga, Tennessee: Bike Chattanooga

Shift Transit has been proudly working with the City of Chattanooga Division of Transportation since 2017 to run the day-to-day operations and management of the Bike Chattanooga program. This past year, Bike Chattanooga celebrated a decade of service, kicking off with a series of events, supported by the Mayor, to mark the 10 year anniversary. 

While the City support for bike sharing in Chattanooga remains strong, 2022 also brought further connection with the community, welcoming many more members to the system. Annual memberships sold was up 14% YOY, while the annual member ridership increased at the same fierce rate. More and more Chattanoogans are discovering the benefits of biking and accessing bike share as a way to move around the city. 

Chattanooga was an early-adopter of e-bikes back in 2018. E-bikes continue to be popular among members and all riders, with e-bike ridership accounting for 35% of all trips taken in 2022, while only representing 14% of the bike fleet. With e-bikes being this popular, we are excited to introduce more in 2023 – Chattanooga is ready for some serious pedal power!



Before finishing off the year, Shift prepared to transition operations and launch our second market with partner Via, one of the largest microtransit/paratransit companies in North America. Shift has successfully operated the Green Bay, Wisconsin paratransit service since March 2020, now adding Hampton Roads, Virginia, a program consisting of 85+ vehicles. 

Shift Transit oversees all mechanical and maintenance of vehicle operations, including preventive maintenance programs, OEM recalls, road calls, and general repairs. The majority of the fleet consists of paratransit WAV (wheelchair-accessible vehicle) e-450 buses outfitted with lifts which we also service and maintain. As an essential service for the community, the goal is to maintain a vehicle availability rate of over 90% at all times.

As we celebrate the wins of 2022, we also reflect on lessons learned and opportunities presented to shape a thriving 2023. Let’s ride!

Shift Transit Employee Spotlight – Joannah Burkhardt

For our fourth profile in our Employee Spotlight series, we checked in with Joannah Burkhardt, General Manager (GM) of the Bike Chattanooga program. Joannah has been an integral part of the program since it began 10+ years ago and is largely responsible for its record-breaking growth and success over the past few years. Today, Bike Chattanooga is seen as a national model for how to operate a viable, thriving bikeshare service in a smaller city.

We spoke with Joannah to learn more about how Bike Chattanooga has evolved over the years, the critical characteristics Chattanooga possesses that make it a great biking city, and our exciting upcoming expansion plans.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Florida and am the youngest of 5. At age 4, my family moved to Tennessee where I have lived most of my life. I started my journey with Bike Chattanooga over 10 years ago as the Marketing Manager and then moving into the General Manager Position. The whole concept of bikeshare sparked my interest when I first heard about it. Coincidentally, through friends, I met the previous GM that was handling the launch of the program and here I am 10 years later.

You’ve been a part of Bike Chattanooga since the program launched more than 10 years ago. What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced and observed since you started?

I’d say the biggest changes I’ve experienced are how much downtown has grown and how the city has transformed into more of a bicycle friendly town. Ten years ago there was minimal bike infrastructure and now we have protected bike lanes, miles of new cycling infrastructure, and a Riverwalk that spans over 16 miles.

Bike Chattanooga has enjoyed tremendous success over the past few years, consistently breaking major usage and customer acquisition records. What do you attribute this to?

Introducing eBikes to the system was a huge game changer. People absolutely love them and we are seeing up to 4x more trips on ebikes vs pedal bikes. I also have an amazing team that works very hard to keep the system up and running. Without them, our success wouldn’t be possible.

Chattanooga is obviously a lot smaller than those cities that we mostly think of when it comes to successful bikeshare programs, including Toronto, New York, and Chicago. What qualities does Chattanooga possess that makes it a model for operating a successful bikeshare program in a smaller city? 

Chattanooga has a thriving arts, music, and dining scene along with a variety of outdoor adventures making it a tourist and vacation hotspot. Chattanooga also hosts multiple sporting competitions throughout the year attracting visitors from all over the world. Bike Chattanooga is an added attraction to the city’s bustling tourist scene.    

Bike Chattanooga is set to expand over the next few months. Can you tell us a bit more about the program’s expansion plans?

We are so excited to be adding an additional 50 pedal assist ebikes to our fleet and another ebike charging station. We will be replacing the already existing Walnut Street Bridge station with an ebike charging station to assist in the charging of additional ebikes. Once received, we will have a total of 105 pedal assist ebikes, 345 pedal bikes, 38 solar stations and 5 ebike charging stations.

As one of a few women leading the day-to-day operations of a bikeshare program, what advice would you give to other women in the industry seeking to become business unit leaders? 

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Get out there and learn all aspects of your operations. The industry is constantly changing and improving, the more you understand and know about your entire operations, the better you can lead your team to success.