BCU Labs

Our Mission

BCU Labs seeks to draw insight and tell stories from the wealth of biking data in Boston. Our mission is to leverage the power of data through creative experimentation, learn where Boston can improve its infrastructure, whether physical or digital, and continue to empower BCU’s advocacy one pedal at a time. Through our framework of mobility justice and equity, we strive to push for positive change in our bike networks, neighborhoods, and mindsets for everybody, no matter who you are or where you ride.

Want to get involved?

Want to volunteer for BCU Labs? Whether you're a great writer, a web developer or just interest in playing around with Boston's bike data, fill out our interest form below!

Our Beliefs and Ethos

  • We use data to tell stories. Stories convince people, not data.
  • We should use the existing data to highlight where gaps exist in the data.
  • What we build should not require a lot of manual work to maintain.
  • We should be willing to try new things and abandon them if they’re not working.
  • We encourage people to present new and creative ideas, and work collaboratively to refine them.
  • We work incrementally.
  • We respect people and understand not everyone will agree with every idea.
  • This is a supportive community of folks with many backgrounds, who are excited to learn skills from each other. We treat each other with grace and do not assume knowledge or judge people when they ask for definitions or to explain concepts.

Our Structure

BCU Labs is entirely volunteer run and volunteer led. There is loose structure for projects however everything we do is driven by a passion for using data to tell a story about how we can make our streets safer. There is one BCU staff member (Mandy) keeping us grounded in the org’s mission and providing official support.

Our Blog Posts


  • November 2023: in a monthly BCU Activist Group meeting, Scott Kilcoyne raised that he had been working on a bike data project and wanted to bring it to the BCU volunteers for help in making it more robust.
  • December ‘23 and January ‘24: held a few meetings in which we:
    • Determined that our core product would be a website that allows users to explore data, but focus our first efforts on a few blog posts that tell the human stories of the data, so that when the website was ready, there would be some content there
    • Agreed that we should focus on using data to show gaps in what cities/planners look at
    • Set up a way for volunteers to sign up to join us on each blog post and eventually on the website
    • Wrote, reviewed, and finalized mission statement
    • Wrote and reviewed blog posts
    • Collected inspiration from other groups doing similar work
    • Set up a Google Drive with a basic document storage structure
    • Set up a Slack channel
  • February 2024:

    • First meetings with new volunteers who joined after the first blog post
    • Decided we need some structure
    • Many new folks = lots of new energy! But a bit of confusion as to what we are trying to do
    • Held a “why” meeting and a “how” meeting, which resulted in this welcome guide!