Happy New Year to Bike-sharing Blog readers. As Russell and I look back five years ago to when this little Blog started, we're mindful at just how phenomenal bike-sharing has become. A mere 68 bike-share cities had services operational in December 2007. Europe, the birth-continent of this sharing concept (Amsterdam in particular), had 61 cities and Asia had one. In December 2012, we're up to 493 with Europe still leading the pack with 352, followed by Asia at 90, North America with 35, South America with 15, Australia/Oceania with 4, and Africa with 1. This is a huge change over the past half decade.
Global Bike-sharing Services
The world's present economic uncertainty has slowed the spread of bike share programs in Europe for 2012. The economy and unforeseen circumstances delayed deployment of larger programs in North America while many smaller programs made an appearance there in 2012. Asia kept pedaling along with more bike-share. Many new programs came on-line in China with others planned. South America started to accelerate the presence of bike-share on that continent. Australia/Oceania is still suffering from mandatory helmet laws and remains stagnant. Central America and Africa for 2012 just haven’t begun to share yet, but that only means the potential is immense. We hope all continents will see spectacular growth of cities with bike-share for 2013.
At the writing on this post, The Bike-sharing World Map is barreling to its 3,000,000th viewing. We thank all 3,000,000 of you for making it the #1 resource for bike-sharing cities information in, well, the world. It keeps you up-to-date with new programs which come online even before they are covered in The Bike-sharing Blog. It is the best way to keep up with the ever changing bike-sharing world.
We've seen climate change rear its ugly head more than ever this past year. Our region in particular was walloped by a storm so big that the term "Superstorm" was created to better describe it. The image below shows the storm covering the eastern half of North America. The storm was the largest in our region's recorded history. Is this the new normal? We hope not. Drastic policy measures must be taken up with haste around the world to stop the irreversible boil of the planet. Bike-sharing and the creation of complete bike infrastructure in our cities to encourage cycling must be part of these policies. Bike-sharing changes the way people get around in our cities. There is less reliance on burning gasoline and diesel fuels. It can help reduce the particulates in our air and put the brakes on global climate change. Don't disappoint us, world. Let's get cooking - before we're cooked!
Superstorm Sandy in October 2012
To finish on a more upbeat note, Russell and I wish you a happy and healthy 2013. May all your rides be downhill and all your bike-sharing bikes be pre-adjusted to your height.
Paul DeMaio, MetroBike, LLC
Russell Meddin, Bikeshare Philadelphia