Friday, July 27, 2007

Tulsa Townies Gearing Up

As omnipotent blogs WashCycle and RPUS point out from an article in Tulsa World, a new bike-sharing program is soon to be underway in Tulsa, OK, with the launch of "Tulsa Townies". This program will have 75 bikes located amongst 4 stations.

"The bikes, which will be free to users, are part of a pilot program designed to promote healthy lifestyles, said John-Kelly Warren, chief executive of the William K. Warren Foundation," the article states.

I've read that all the bikes are located in a parks, so will be mainly used for recreational purposes.
This program is similar to the Dasani Blue Bike Program, which also has a recreational focus.

Go Tulsa! With the launch of your new bike-sharing program, it looks like you are OK afterall.

photo credit: Tulsa World

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Houston, we have a problem...

There are two noteworthy articles in Budget Travel Online. The first, titled "Those free bikes in Europe, you can't use 'em", is about JCDecaux's programs in Paris and Lyon. As the bike-sharing kiosks only accept credit and debit cards with specific chips in them, tourists from North America have not been able to use the bikes. I experienced this in Lyon when I visited, however, the chief of Velo'v was kind enough to buy me a card to test the system as my American Express card with a chip didn't work.

I don't believe this was done intentionally to block out N. American tourists, but rather an oversight. Having both smartcard targets AND credit card swipes on each kiosk raises the cost of the kiosk. Bicing in Barcelona does have both, however, the the swipe is presently disabled so only residents can use the system. I believe the powers that be didn't want the system overwhelmed by tourists above the overwhelming response it was receiving from residents.

I hope JCDecaux can retify this problem quickly as it's North Americans more than Europeans who need to see how great bike-sharing programs are and spread their growth to our shores. Europeans are already sold on the concept as proven by the many programs in existence and in planning stages.

The second article, titled "Rent a Bike in Europe for Nearly Nothing", discusses the cities with tourist-friendly bike-sharing programs and the costs of each.

image credit: Mairie de Paris

Friday, July 20, 2007

Edinburgh Considering Bike-sharing

In an article titled "Self-serve bike hire coming to street near you" in today's Scotsman newspaper, Gareth Edwards reports the Scottish capital is considering OYBike and other bike-sharing services.

The article states Edinburgh Councillor Phil Wheeler, the city's transport leader, said "It is important that people are offered as many different ways of getting around the city as possible, and cycling, which is both environmentally friendly and cost effective, is an excellent choice."

photo credit: Scotsman

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Velib' Media Frenzy

Velib' is now just a few days old, however, it's been written about all over the world. Here are just a few articles to stay abreast:

A New French Revolution’s Creed: Let Them Ride Bikes
by Katrin Bennhold; The New York Times; July 16, 2007

Paris Readies for Velib Frenzy
by Emma-Jane Kirby; BBC News: July 15, 2007

Velib' - Paris' New "Bike Transit System"
by France Guide; undated

Saturday, July 14, 2007

T-minus 1 Until Velib'!

The countdown is less than 24 hours until Velib' launches 10,000 bikes in Paris. When I visited with the JCDecaux and Paris representatives in June, they were already having trouble sleeping as the preparations for such a large undertaking are immense. However, they are a committed bunch and I'm sure are creating what will no doubt be a successful program.

I came across this article in the Edmonton Journal, which has the first dollar amount associated with Velib' that I've seen - $124 million. It's a tremendous commitment by Paris for clean air, improved health of its citizens, and a big step towards lessening traffic congestion. Maybe Paris could become the next Copenhagen?

"Paris to Launch World's Largest Bicycle Rental" Edmonton Journal
by Fabio Benedetti-Valentini and Nicholas Bernstein
July 14, 2007

PARIS - Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who installs beach volleyball courts in front of City Hall during summer months, is introducing the world's biggest bicycle-rental operation this weekend.

The 90 million-euro ($124-million US) effort financed by JC Decaux SA, the world's second-largest outdoor advertiser, will enable residents and tourists to pick up a bike at any of the 750 stations around the city and return it to another. The first half-hour will be free.


photo credit: Paul DeMaio

Monday, July 9, 2007

New York Bike-share Project

This week (July 7-11) The Forum for Urban Design and Storefront for Art & Archtecture are teaming-up to encourage New Yorkers to imagine what bike-sharing in New York City could look like. According to the NY Bike-share Project Website:

"The New York Bike-Share Project consists of three parts: The Experiment: Twenty bicycles will be available for free 30-minute rentals between Storefront for Art and Architecture (97 Kenmare Street) and a roving, remote location. The Exhibition: A review of eight successful bike-share programs in European cities will be on view at Storefront. The Charette: The Forum For Urban Design will facilitate a public imagining of a future bike-share program in New York."

The agenda is as follows:

July 9, 6pm: Richard Grasso from Clear Channel Adshel on Barcelona, Stockholm and Oslo

July 10, 6pm: Josh Squire from JC Decaux on Paris, Lyon and Vienna; Carlos Pujol from Cemusa on Pamplona

July 11, 6pm: Charette results and reception

Bike-sharing in New York would be a similar feat as it is in Paris, with equally dramatic effects. Stay tuned.

Image credit: NY Bike-share Project

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Recently in Munich, I came across "nextbike". Nextbike is a low-tech bike-sharing technology hybrid of Copenhagen's second generation Bycyklen and Munich's other bike-sharing technology, Call a Bike. Munich is also the first city I'm aware of which has two bike-sharing services.

To use a nextbike, an individual must register for the service on nextbike's website for free. To use the bike, one must call a toll-free number and provide the bike number to receive the bike's cable lock access code. The phone number must be called again notifying the company that the bike is being returned. I imagine the cable lock has a rotating access code.

The cost of nextbike is 1 Euro per hour and 5 Euro per day. However, should you not return the nextbike to the location in which you picked it up, there is an additional cost of 1 Euro per kilometer from where one started. According to the website, nextbike is available in 10 German cities.

I didn't have the opportunity to ride a nextbike while in Munich, however, it looked like a good service. The ads did seem rather large and the hourly pricing does seem rather expensive compared to the free first 30 minutes other bike-sharing services offer. In addition, trips are not always circular, so the charge of 1 Euro per kilometer seems unfair to the user.

photo credit: Paul DeMaio

Seven Cities to Join Bike-sharing Bunch

According to the June 2007 issue of "Vélo'v - la newsletter", there are seven cities expecting a bike-sharing launch with the JCDecaux technology over the next year. These cities are Aix en Provence (France), Séville (Spain), Paris, Besançon (France), Marseille (France), Mulhouse (France), and Dublin (Ireland). The launches will be happening between now and June 2008. The number of bikes will vary from 200 all the way up to 20,600.