Monday, March 15, 2010

Tehran's "Bike House" Shines Green

Reducing traffic on congested streets, clearing pollution from smog-laden overcast skies, and completing that last kilometer to your destination from transit points are the accepted benefits of bike-sharing no matter the political situation or location in the world. Bike-sharing has become an integral part of many cities' green economy. It comes as no surprise that even in the Islamic Republic of Iran, bike-sharing is thriving.

Tehran’s “Bike House” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by Tehran’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of Tehran’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

For many, “Bike House” has made travel through the congested streets of Tehran fast and convenient. Unfortunately, because of Islamic and cultural considerations, women can only be green with envy because they not allowed to participate in this bike-sharing!

Image and source credit: Ramin Mostaghim / Los Angeles Times

Russell Meddin -

1 comment:

Tom Allen said...

Interesting! Which district is this in?

Central Tehran is utterly hideous for cycling (except Friday mornings). There used to be a few bike lanes around but they've faded and are now little used.

Men and women are able to hire and ride bikes unrestricted in Chitgal Park, a short ride on the metro from downtown - it's much more pleasant than trying to compete with a million buzzing little motorbikes!