Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Bike-sharing World -The last week of July 2012

                        Chattanooga, Tennessee
After almost a 3-month delay from its April 25, 2012 start date, Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System began rolling on the evening of July 23rd. The green and blue bicycles are finally available at the docking stations for subscribers and occasional users after a frustrating period of software glitches. Subscribers who signed up for the original start date got access keys today. The special $60 annual subscription rate is once again available for sale. This discount is now extended through September 3. The regular subscriptions will be $75 for the year and $6 for a day pass. These are the only options. The first 60 minutes of each trip is at no extra charge and each additional 30 minutes is $5.

Bike Chattanooga with its 300 bikes now available in 28 stations becomes the first large scale bike-sharing system in the Southeast* edging out Charlotte, North Carolina which launched Charlotte B-cycle last week, but did not outfit the stations with bikes and will not until July 31st.

The difficulties which Chattanooga had with getting its system up and running, not only effected ridership in Chattanooga. It also affected the timing of the similar system for New York City. Last week, New York announced that there would be a delay in the expected July launch of Citi Bike. Now that the situations that caused the delays, both hardware and software, are under control, will New York be able to launch its multi-thousand bike system in time for its annual ciclovia, Summer Streets?

*Miami Beach with Decobike is not considered part of the Southeast.

                    Anaheim, California

Bike Nation launched its pilot program for Anaheim on Saturday July 23, 2012. This is the first city-wide system on the West Coast of the United States. It will have 10 stations with 100 bikes to be deployed in the coming weeks. The price structure to use the system is multi-tiered: the single day pass is $6, 3-day pass is $12, the week pass is $25, the month pass is $35 and a year subscription is $75. There is a steep escalating fee for each additional 30 minutes after the initial 30 minutes usage period which is free. The success of this pilot program could be the beginning of a 4,000-bicycle Bike Nation system for Los Angeles, California.

                   Boston, Massachusetts

This week brings the second anniversary of The Hubway. Boston celebrated the occasion with a party to which all Hubway users were invited.  It is also offering a special $15 discount on an annual membership. The 600-bike seasonal system plans to expand to 1,000 bikes by the end of this year with stations in Cambridge, Brookline, Charlestown, Dorchester, and Somerville, Massachusetts.

                           Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth throws its Ten Gallon Hat into the bike-share ring with a $1,000,000 US Federal Transit Administration grant to the Fort Worth Transit Authority to build 30 stations with 300 bikes for April 2013.

According to the NBC News affiliate in Fort Worth, since the "T" or Transit Authority is the recipient of the award, the bike stations are planned for inter-modality with the bus system so the bikes are an extension of the present bus system. With Austin, Texas planning a system and San Antonio and Houston B-cycle systems operating, this Forth Worth system could give Texas bragging rights to the State with the most bike-sharing systems in one state in the USA!

Operating station in Bemowo, Poland
The end of this month will see a city-wide bike-share system throughout Warsaw, Poland. VETURILO - Warszawski Rower Publiczny (Warsaw Public Bikes) will begin on August 1, 2012. The system, part of nextbike Poland, will have 1,000 bikes in 55 stations. Many of the stations are just about ready for use. It will be almost contiguous with the nextbike system already in operation in the capital's suburb of Bemowo. Expansion plans are to have 2,400 bikes in 2013. 

images: The Bike-sharing Blog, 4NBC, J Fox boston.com, Hat,  Bemowo Bike by Marek Utkin   

Russell Meddin       bikesharephiladelphia.org

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