Friday, September 28, 2007

Bike-sharing Presentation

For those in the Washington, D.C. area, I will be giving a talk about the international development of bike-sharing programs and discussing the efforts for bike transit in the U.S. Snacks will be provided at the presentation, which is free, by BikeArlington.

The presentation will be from 6:30 - 7:30pm at the Arlington County Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., in the lobby's Azalea Room. Space is limited, so RSVP by October 21 if you're interested in attending.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hot Off the Virtual Presses!

Stats from "Newsletter Velo'v" (Lyon, France):

- # miles Velo'v bikes traveled in July 2007 - 761,883 mi
- # miles Velo'v bikes traveled in August 2007 - 691,986 mi
- # miles Velo'v bikes traveled since the beginning of the year - 5,945,754 mi
- # miles Velo'v bikes traveled since the program's launch in 2005 - 15,229,979 mi

Now that's a lot of calories burned and pollution not emitted! The Newsletter Velo'v states this equates to 5,000 tons of CO2 saved.

Velib' Video'

There's a great video about Velib' from New Zealand's TV3 titled "Bikes hoped to lessen Paris traffic woes". The video shows the bikes being used, a close-up of the locking mechanism, and the Paris transportation department's bike-sharing program manager, Celine Lepault, speaks about the program. Parisians are fortunate to have someone like Celine running the municipal aspects of Velib'. Having met with Celine in June, she was excited to practice her English with me in a discussion about the yet-to-be-launch service. Soon, with all of the interviews she has been giving, she'll be speaking English better than me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Velib' for Tourists

An article in Sunday's Washington Post titled "Free Wheeling: Paris's New Bike System" shows tourists how to use Paris' Velib'. Make sure to bring your smart-chip Amex or Visa with you before you go.

"A major drawback for U.S. visitors is that you can sign up only with a smart-chip Visa card or an American Express card, a limitation that will leave a lot of Americans out in the cold. However, one card can be used to sign up several individuals. JCDecaux, the company running the system, says it hopes this problem will be resolved in the near future."

photo credit: The Washington Post

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Paris' Popular Bike Program may Inspire Others

A glowing report was on NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" showcasing Velib'. The report states, "Launched in July, the 'Velib' bikes were part of the Paris mayor's idea of making the city more ecologically friendly and reducing traffic. Just two months on, the self-service bicycles have clocked some 3.7 million rides and seem to be changing the way people get around the city."

Also, Chicago had a Request for Proposals out which ended a few months ago looking for a company to provide bike-sharing service of 500 or 1,500 bikes to the city. Chicago's mayor Richard Daley visited Paris this week to go for a spin. "Daley says he thinks the bikes could work in Chicago."

photo credit: NPR

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First-ever Bike-sharing Conference in Barcelona

I've been to lots of bike conferences and even one that included a session on bike-sharing, however, this conference in Barcelona is the first I'm aware of that is focused solely on bike-sharing. This two-day event will be on November 29 - 30. If you were looking for an excuse to go to Barcelona, here it is. This Website is in Spanish.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Humana's Freewheelin' Ridin' High

According to "Promoting pedal power" in the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal, Humana Inc., one of the U.S.'s largest health care providers, has launched a bike-sharing program called Freewheelin' for its 8,500 Louisville employees. The program has 20 three-speed bikes with automatic shifters with five more bikes designed for longer treks, such as for commuting or lunchtime recreational rides. The system was designed by Canadian firm QI Systems, Inc. and uses Trek's Lime bikes. Presently, there are two stations, however, "Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson would like to see it expanded so city residents one day could check out a bike from a number of locations -- for example, to go wheeling around the parks," the article states.

So far about 2,000 of Humana's downtown employees "have enrolled in the program, and 300 or so have already used bikes [program manager Nate Kvamme said]. The company expects to add two more racks of bikes soon."

Other health care providers take note - bike-sharing is good for you!

This is only the 2nd bike-sharing program in the U.S. which I'm aware of. The 1st, also by QI Systems, is the Tulsa Townies program in Tulsa, Oklahoma which I've written about previously.

photo credit: The Courier-Journal