When we launched Metro in 2014, we never thought its moment would arrive amid the pain and loss of a global pandemic. Of course we wish it would have come about another way. But with so little to celebrate about 2020, cyclists, runners and pedestrians everywhere can find some hope in seeing how rapidly the world is changing its mind about active travel.
The vast majority of cities are experiencing a boom in human-powered transportation. Vehicle traffic has plummeted, while bike sales have soared. Urban planners, now with empty streets and far less demand for parking, have inspiringly blank canvases. And an influx of new cyclists and pedestrians – many just everyday people thirsting to get off of conference calls and feel some wind in their hair – is giving those planners more permission than ever before to build safe, efficient and enjoyable ways to move around by bike or on foot.
The global demand for better active travel that we thought would eventually arrive years from now is suddenly here, banging at the door. And it could become “the new normal” after the pandemic ends – but only if those who are able to contribute rise to the occasion. Thanks to the generosity of our community in continuing to share their activities with us, Strava can, so we will.
Metro is a powerful tool for helping urban planners, city governments and safe-infrastructure advocates understand mobility patterns, identify opportunities for investment and evaluate the impact of infrastructure changes. While the potential of Metro is enormous, its impact can only be as large as the number of partner organizations that can access and utilize it. In the past, challenges around data complexity and cost hindered Metro from aiding those who could benefit from it most. 2020 has taught us that we need to remove those hurdles.
So starting today, Metro is free to qualified organizations around the world who are working to improve human-powered transportation. After their applications are vetted and approved, we will be proud to share a totally redesigned Metro 3.0, which is vastly more user friendly and requires minimal training to use. This is Strava and the athletic community joining forces to help build a better world for cyclists, runners and pedestrians.
If your city could be safer and smarter for human-powered travel, tell your transportation departments and bike advocacy groups: Strava Metro is now free and easy to use.
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