Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Wrap-up

2009 has been another stupendous year for bike-sharing! An unscientific count of the bike-sharing services listed on The Bike-sharing World Map, plus a few more from Spain where bike-sharing services seem to sprout like dandelions, puts the number at about 160 globally. This is up from 92 at the end of last year for an increase of 74% in the number of services worldwide. There are so many services out there now as compared to just two years ago that it has actually made it difficult to keep up with everything that is going on. This is a good thing. Go humans!

The planet and its people are ready for bike-sharing now more than ever before. With the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference earlier this month, international support at the highest levels of government was shown for improving how we treat the planet... however we have a long way to go.

Conference-goers and activists were representing their home countries in the city that brought the bike-sharing movement into the modern era with Copenhagen’s forward-thinking Bycyklen or “City Bike” service in 1995. If each conference attendee were to take the idea back with them to their home countries and cities, bike-sharing’s reach and its positive impacts would be even more powerful. Incrementally, countries could block the greenhouse gases being created by the encroachment of polluting modes of transportation on sustainable modes like walking and cycling, while making cities healthier and better places to live. Utopian? You betcha! If we have a key which is part of the overall solution, we should use it.

As we enter a new decade, The Bike-sharing Blog will be there to follow trends in this nascent industry. Thank you for continuing to make The Bike-sharing Blog the world’s #1 source of information on bike-sharing, public bikes, bicicletas públicas, fahrradverleih, or whatever it may be known as in your part of the world.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2010.

Paul DeMaio
MetroBike, LLC

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Propaganda Time

I normally don't post propaganda, however, it was either this or a video of the coal that Santa brought, so here's a nice piece that Clear Channel Outdoor created about its SmartBike system. This smooth video discusses its technology and has brief interviews with customers from around the globe using a bike-sharing bike. Whatever the language, there's always the smile. Bike-sharing is good.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Onroll Rolls Across Spain

A bike-sharing system that has yet to receive attention on The Bike-sharing Blog, until now, is called Onroll from the Spanish company domoblue. Onroll is one of the few systems out there where rental and return is conducted by text message (SMS). To join, one must register their mobile phone number to receive a customer code. Checking out a bike is as easy as sending a text message with the following information:

"Take b[bike number] l[lock number] [customer code]"
For example, "Take b20 l88 se1234".

Returning a bike is just as easy with replacing "Take" with "Return".

Each bike and lock are uniquely numbered.

Onroll is currently in or under construction in 28 cities(!) in Spain. There are so many cities and towns already using Onroll, you could say the system is "ubikequitous". The services are generally small with up to 106 bikes and 11 stations. Their services are being offered in cities such as Segovia, where electric-assist (pedalec) cycles are mixed into the offering.

image credits: El Blog Personal de Mike Chapel, AmigosDelCiclismo

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nice Ride Minnesota Moving Forward with Procurement

The following is a press release from Nice Ride Minnesota:

"Nice Ride Minnesota, a nonprofit organization created to run a new bike-share system in Minneapolis, received funding authorization today from the Federal Highway Administration. This decision enables Nice Ride Minnesota to proceed with procurement of bikes and bike-share kiosks, keeping the organization on track to launch its bike-share system this spring. Nice Ride Minnesota will receive a grant of $1.75 million through Bike/Walk Twin Cities, a program created through the 2005 federal highway bill to fund innovative bike and pedestrian projects. The City of Minneapolis has been a key partner in the funding effort. Nice Ride Minnesota released a preliminary Request for Proposals in September. That RFP is now published in final. To read the RFP and learn more about Nice Ride Minnesota, go to"

Way to go, Nice Ride! MetroBike, LLC worked with Nice Ride Minnesota over the past few months and during this time I learned more about this exciting new program and the people who are making it possible. Minneapolis is in for a treat when Nice Ride Minnesota launches next year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Copenhagen Bike-Share Competition

Winners of the Copenhagen Bike-Share Competition

The City of Copenhagen announced the winners of the open competition to design a new Bike-sharing program for the city that has had bike-sharing since 1995. The competition originally announced in September had a November 18, 2009 submission deadline. See the Bike-sharing Blog post. First Prizes go to OPEN BIKE by Lots Design, Koucky & Partners and Green Idea Factory from Sweden and Germany and myloop by Thomas Coulbeaut from Japan. See all the fascinating entries at CPH Bike-Share Competition

Russell Meddin

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fog Rolls in on Outdoor Advertising-based Bike-sharing in the U.S.

The outdoor advertising model of financing bike-sharing programs in the United States became foggy recently with Clear Channel Outdoor pulling out of its exclusive rights for a bike-sharing service of 1,275 bikes in San Francisco, according to reports in SF Streetblog and SF Gate. Clear Channel Outdoor has a two year old lucrative contract with San Francisco to place advertising on transit shelters on public space.

Speaking of the cost of the bike-sharing service, Catherine Carr of Clear Channel Outdoor said, "It's a very expensive program, and in this economy, Clear Channel is not in a viable position to put out millions of dollars," The outdoor advertising model is one in which the proceeds of selling ad space on free-standing panels or panels on bus shelters, pay the cost of a bike-sharing service.

As the fog dissipates on this subject, The Bike-sharing Blog will keep you informed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Around the Bike-sharing World for December 2009

BIXI goes into hibernation. Montréal’s harsh winters and the threat of snow remove bike-sharing from the streets of the city for five months. Yesterday was the last day of BIXI in 2009. Their press release stated, "Currently, it is no longer possible to rent a bike, but users can continue to bring their bikes to the various stations still available in the coming days." This video explains the station removal process.

StadtRAD is rolling strong in Hamburg, Germany. This Call a Bike affiliate has 1,000 bikes, but is a bit different because it has 85 stations all with self-serve kiosk. Customers may sign up and rent through the kiosk or the regular Call a Bike telephone method. This hybrid system has been very successful with 223,000 trips having been taken in the first three months.

Handlebar lock on Breezy Rider

The winds of mid-October brought Breezy Riding bike-sharing to Daejon, Korea. This is the second program in South Korea. For a city of 1.5 million, this is a very small system with 200 bikes and 20 stations, but the electronics on these bikes make it very big in interest. The bikes have an electronic locking system on the handle bars. Registration is on-line and the city's value added transit card can be used for payment. A good overview of the system is at Breezy Riding One and Breezy Riding Two. According to the Korea Times, now even Seoul is considering bike-sharing for 2011.

image credits: BIXI, StadtRAD, and Socius