Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toronto closer to being the 2nd major Canadian City with Bike-sharing

Last night, Autoshare Car-sharing brought Toronto, Canada closer to Bixi Bike-sharing by buying 100 yearly subscriptions to fulfill one of the city government's requirement that 1000 pre-subscribers sign up before proceeding with a bike-sharing program for May 2011. The Toronto plan is to start with 1000 bikes and 80 stations within the Central Business District. Now only another $150,000 CDN ($145,500 US) in yearly sponsorships for each of the next three years must be secured on top of the generous ING three year commitment to fulfill the last requirement before the program can begin.
It will be good to see bike-sharing once more in Toronto!

image: Toronto Bixi

Russell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Melbourne gets on top of its slow moving bike-sharing

Hats off to Melbourne Bike Share for adding a new dimension to self -service bike-sharing with self-service bike helmet machines. Since it started in June of this year, Melbourne Bike Share has not been as successful as other bike-sharing programs of comparable size, like Denver, Colorado or Dublin, Ireland. Many attributed the slow growth of this system to Australia’s mandatory helmet laws. With these vending machines, it is now easier to use the program without facing a $150 AU ($150 US) fine if you ride without a helmet. In addition, the 24 hour-a-day system has a new agreement with 7-Elevens in Melbourne to sell helmets to users for $5. According the Victorian Government, the helmets can be recycled to the store for $3 cash back. It is hoped that easy accessibility of helmets will encourage greater use of the system.

In other Australian helmet news, there is strong movement to exempt mandatory helmet use for certain types of riding. Over the summer, Sue Abbott won her case in an Australian court not to have to wear a helmet to do her errands in New South Wales. According to bikerumor this could be the start of a “U turn in the Australian helmet law." This would make spontaneous bike-sharing even easier. More Australian news on The Bike-sharing Blog to come.

image: Alta Bicycle Share

Russell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where's My Villo?

A group of Brussels residents had concerns about the quality of service that JCDecaux was providing in their town... so they did something about it. On September 6 the group created Where's My Villo? -- Villo! being the name of their bike-sharing service which launched in May 2009 -- to track certain performance measures, including the availability of bikes and parking spaces. The data they use to track performance is that from JCDecaux's Villo! website.

In addition to improving the reliability of the service, Where's My Villo? also asks for JCDecaux "to commit to transparent and easily verifiable service levels" with no station remaining "empty or completely full for more than 60 consecutive minutes." Finally, the team asks for a users' group to assist JCDecaux in evaluating the Villo! service.

Hopefully this will lead to a better service for Brussels. It also can be a learning tool for advocates around the world to assist in pressuring service providers for a better service in their own communities. Soon, maybe Where's My Villo? will no longer need to ask this question as they'll have finally found it.