Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Bike-sharing World - Last Week of April 2012


Xinfeider Public Bikes debuts it new bike station. The multi-language kiosk boasts a very large touch screen. It can serve as an information center. It can print out directional maps or special coupons for system users for near-by shopping. It could also be used by those needing directions. The station has electric battery recharging capability and a recycling container for used batteries for electric bicycle compatibility. With advance connectivity, the new bike station could serve much more transit options for central payment and ticketing. Xinfeider took the lead in the consolidation of Wuhan's multiple bike-sharing systems. According to a recent report from the Hubei Department of Tranportation, there are now 1,218 public bike service sites of which 700 are smart lease sites, and of those, 150 use solar energy. There are 70,000 public bicycles in the system and this year they will invest in another 20,000 for a total of 90,000 vehicles.

North America:

Cable Lock
Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System is to take to the streets. Watch this catchy video. This southeastern city of around 170,000 people in Tennessee is to have 300 bikes in 30 stations. It offers only yearly subscriptions at $75 (special $60 introductory offer until May 31, 2012) and day memberships for $6. In a break from most U.S. automated bike-sharing systems, Chattanooga offers a one-hour initial usage period at no charge rather than the usual 30 minutes. According to WRCB TV, the system is scheduled to launch on April 25, 2012.

The service is operated by Alta Bicycle Share with equipment from PBSC. It is a first city installation using a PBSC bicycle with an intergrated auxiliary cable locking system to secure the bike away from a docking station and a passive GPS system. Also new are the "Urban Solution" version 3.0 kiosk at the docking stations.

Update: The Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System was originally scheduled to launch on April 25, 2012. The launch was postponed twice due to technical problems with a new operating system according to the program's press release.


Konrad is the name of the new Call a Bike - DB Rent system in Kassel, Germany. It begins operation this week with 500 bikes in 50 stations. There are no subscriptions to this system and every 30 minutes of usage are charged at € 0.50 (65¢ US). It is necessary to sign up for free at a station or over the phone for a € 3 ($4 US) charge which is then credited against usage. Each Kassel bus ticket will give a 30 minutes credit on the system also.


After starting with a small bike-sharing pilot program last year, Mainz, Germany a city of 200,000, began a full program called MDVmeinRAD this week. Run by the city transit system, the new train and bus eticket will operate at the current 50 bike stations and will access all 1,000 bikes and 120 solar-powered stations when the system is complete this fall.

images: Xinfeider, Chattanooga Bicycle Transit Konrad, MGVmeimRad,

Russell Meddin

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Bike-sharing World: Second Week of April 2012

North America:
Speculation is swirling in Canada that Public Bicycle Share Company (PBSCo), bIXI in Montréal, will be sold to SERCO, the operator of Barclays Cycle Hire, according to the CBC. Ever since the government in Quebec made it clear that PBSCo had no authority to market bike-sharing internationally and that the international sales had to be shut down or sold, SERCO has been considered the most likely buyer.

When speaking of the possible sale, Roger Plomondon, the retiring President of PBSCo, said, "It would be very sad to see, but from an economic point of view, they’re probably the most motivated potential buyer." With a large investment in the Barclays Cycle Hire program and the desire to expand, SERCO needs to protect its supply line for the bikes and stations. The same is true for Alta Bicycle Share. With 10,000 bikes destined for New York City and 3,000 bikes for Chicago, Alta and the cities under contract with Alta need the disposition of PBSCo to be settled.

Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, announced during at the city's "CicLAviatoday plans for a new bike-sharing program to cover downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach. More details are in his press release. The system would have 4,000 bikes and 400 stations and might start deployment by the end of 2012.   

According to the LA Times, the program will cost $16 million. 
The system would not use City funds. It would be set up and run by Bike Nation, a California Bike-share Company. Bike Nation is in the process currently of setting up a pilot program of 150 bikes for Anaheim, California. It should begin late this spring or early summer.


What does a system do with old bikes that are serviceable but past their prime, especially when replacements are delivered? The City of La Coruña will give away older bikes of the Bicicoruña system to Asociación Mobi-Liza which will distribute them, upon request, to people who have fewer resources to buy one. The City sees this as an initiative to further promote cycling as a means of transport to its citizens. This is worthy re-cycling of bike-sharing bicycling.

images: The Bike-sharing Blog, Bike NationBicicoruña

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Bike-sharing World: First Week of April 2012


The City of Bratislava is looking for bids for bike-share. A tender offer is asking for submissions by April 27, 2012. The Bratislava Automated Bike System offer calls for at least an 11-station system as a start. What, you don't read Slovak? Here is an English synopsis and article about the tender. More and more cities in Eastern Europe are realizing the benefits of bike-sharing. A quick look at the Bike-sharing World Map sees the growth of new systems there.


OsedomRad is one of the first bike-share systems that offers pick-up and drop-off stations in two counties! This 500-bike, 60-station system operated by neXtbike is based in and around the recreational areas of the Isle of Osedom in northeast Germany, close to the Poland border. A bike checked out from a station in Ahlbeck, Germany can be returned in Świnoujście, Poland and visa-versa! This is just another example of cooperation in the bike-share world that brings us a step closer to inter-operability.

Warsaw Public Bicycle which is scheduled to begin in June 2012 is operating in the Bemowo District of the city. Ten stations are reporting activity on a system map. According to a report in Eltis, it is the first District of many to have a program in the 
Polish capital.

This month NeXtbike Poland is to complement its 140-bike, 17-station Wroclaw City Bike program with a similar system in Pozan. It will open with 80 bikes in 7 stations on April 15th. We will watch as the Warsaw program expands this summer.

    The Netherlands

CallLock in Middelburg, near Belgium and the North Sea, began as a free pilot in November 2010. The system has 40 bikes in 6 stations. This year the system is to become a full fledged subscription payment operation.


CallLock currently operates mostly closed, employee-use only systems in Northern Europe.




Once again phenomenal usage numbers are being reported out of China. The City of Zhuzhou, Hunan Province is reporting in the Rednet News an average of 150,000 daily trips on its 13,000 bikes! That's 11.5 trips/bike/day.

The system, not even a year old, had a single day with 200,000 trips. Beginning with about 10,000 bikes in 500 stations in September, this system is expected to expand to 20,000 bikes in 1,005 stations very shortly. We hope New York will match those numbers!

image: Slovakia TNT, Warsaw by Natalia Palkowska, Zhuzhou

Russell Meddin