Friday, March 23, 2012

NACTO Exacto

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) organized a Bike-share Workshop with other partners which occurred March 22-23, which was the first of its kind in the U.S. with this focus. For two days participants from municipalities with existing services and those which are in the planning stages, came together to:

• Hear the experiences from leading bike-sharing programs around the country.
• Learn about bike-sharing emerging best practices.
• Help identify how bike-sharing can better integrate and coordinate with local transit operators.
• Better understand which business model is right for their jurisdiction and what are the key factors to consider before implementation.
• Identify the political, social, and community factors to be considered for bike-sharing to succeed.
• Share concerns about the capital and funding requirements, operational challenges, and data management needs for bike-sharing.

The event, although not widely publicized, drew 90 bike-sharing professionals from around the country, many of whom were in town for the National Bike Summit as well. Personally, I found the event to be quite good as it was an opportunity for folks from around the country to finally get together at one location and share their array of experiences in this nascent field. I met folks from other existing bike-sharing services, such as Denver and Minneapolis, and those who are months or a year away from realizing their own service. With transit operations being a fast-paced world, taking a breath to stop and learn from others about their best practices is always nice. In addition, the new B-cycle station was there and had bikes with built-in rear panniers. Very cool.

Russell and I at The Bike-sharing Blog look forward to working with NACTO to make more materials available to bike-sharing professionals around the U.S. and the world, to further sharing of documents, experiences, and learning for all to benefit. NACTO's future bike-share site is not yet live, but should be a good resource.

Additional coordinating partners included the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, American Public Transportation Association, League of American Bicyclists, National Center for Transit Research, and National Bus Rapid Transit Institute.

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