Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Bike-sharing World: March 2011

StadtRad in Hamburg, Germany adds better functionality to its bike-sharing system making it easier to pick up and return a bike. In this bike-sharing era, there is much talk about smart mobile phones accessing new P2P (peer to peer) and social bike systems where no stations are necessary (i.e. "flexible" systems). In Germany where Call-a-Bike and nextbike have been mostly accessed by mobile phone, the newer systems such as StadtRad in Hamburg and Berlin have now added walk up kiosks as well. Beginning the first of this month in Hamburg, an RFID (radio frequency ID) membership card can be tapped on a bike's lock to release it. Tap the lock again with your RFID card when the bike is returned to lock the bike at any of the stations. Also, in Mainz, Germany, a system of 1,000 bikes in 120 stations, similar to StadtRad Hamburg, is currently under construction.

Nuremberg, Germany also starts a new RFID card system in two months. NorisBike will have 750 bikes throughout 65 stations. As attractive as smart phone based bike-sharing seems, the country that has used telephone bike-sharing for years is now moving to incorporate card-based kiosk stations to better serve its cities.

Our friend Mike Rubo of the Sit-up cycles blog has made a new film with inciteful interviews from Barcelona's Bicing system. It explains how this system should be used as a model to improve bike-sharing in his native Australia.

In North America:
The Ides of March will grab lots of eyes as the sexiest bike-sharing system, DecoBikes, starts in Miami Beach Florida. Grab you bathing suit and take a ride on South Beach and enjoy the scenery!

Bike-sharing to return to Ottawa- Gatineau, Canada this May after a one year hiatus. The National Capital Commission (NCC) has approved a Capital bIXI system with 10 stations and 100 bikes for Canada's seat of government. NCC hopes to increase the size of the system to 500 bikes and 50 stations. Capital bIXI and Toronto bIXI will join Montréal bIXI in Canadian bike-sharing this year.

Crain Business News is reporting that Alta Bicycle Share and Trek B-cycle as finalist in the running for the New York City Bike-sharing contract for a system to begin late this fall or early next year.

No comments: