Friday, November 16, 2007
European-style bike-sharing programs head to US
An article titled "European-style bike-sharing programs head to US" by AFP has information about three programs, those of Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and Arlington, Virginia, that are on their way. Washington, D.C.'s program is to launch in March or April of 2008 with 120 bikes at 10 stations. Small, but hey, it'll be the first in North America. D.C. contracted for the 120 bikes four years ago when it released its Request for Proposals for its bus shelter contract. Four years ago, a fleet of 120 was impressive. With larger and successful programs like Velib' (10,600 bikes now with 20,600 planned) and Bicing (3,000 bikes now with 6,000 planned), the relative size of a small program has shifted. D.C. officials are already considering how to expand the size of their program.
Also, Chicago is considering bids from JCDecaux and OYBike for its program. Both companies have yet to enter the U.S. market, however, JCDecaux's programs in Paris and Lyon are much more visible than OYBike's in the London suburb of Hammersmith & Fulham. Unless OYBike had a very appetizing offer for Chicago, JCDecaux's program is rather sexy.
Finally, Arlington, Virginia is considering another model for the provision of bike-sharing - the government provides the service.
image: Saul Loeb, AFP