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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Bike-sharing World -The Second Week of July 2012

July 15, 2007 Launch Ceremony for Vélib'
The Fifth Anniversary of Vélib'

On July 15, 2007, bike-sharing went from a little known progressive initiative in a few cities into a World Transportation P
henomenon with the introduction of Vélib'Vélib' arrived with 11,000 bikes in 750 stations in Paris. Though Paris was not the first̶̶̶and is now not the biggestbike-share city, it sparked the revolution that has brought these systems to over 450* cities around the world. Within five years, Vélib' riders have accumulated 130 million tripswith average 110,000 trips every day. The system quickly expanded to 18,500 bikes in 1,700 stations to cover all of Paris and the first ring of its suburbs within 1.5 km. Now there are 224,000 annual subscribers to the system and millions and millions of day passes are sold yearly. Vélib' was modeled after vélo'v in Lyon, France. Subsequently, the Chinese mega systems, the North American bIXI and B-cycle systems and the big European systems were all modeled after Vélib'. World bike-sharing success owes a lot to the success of Vélib'.
Bon Anniversaire!


Vélo'v takes top honors as Europe's best bike-sharing service. 

The German Automobile Club, ADAC, did a survey of 40 bike sharing systems in the European countries:
 Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,  Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The survey said, Lyon's vélo'v is #1.

Testing of the systems was performed in May 2012 as part of the ADAC program for advising travelers. Each system was evaluated on Accessibility (35% of the evaluation), Directions (26%), Ease of use (25%) and Quality of the bikes (14%). Each of these categories had the following choices: Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Poor and Very Poor. Paris' Vélib' came in second overall.


Valenbisi on Monday afternoon July 16, 2012 starts offering supplemental insurance to its bike-share riders. This is in addition to the regular insurance that Valenbisi carries for every rental.  For an additional €9 ($11 US) subscribers can purchase liability and accident insurance. This will cover the insured for any third party bicycling incidents within the city limits of Valencia. The policy pays claims that are brought against Valenbisi and/or against the user by a third party or parties involved in the incident. The claim maximums are: personal injury caused to third parties: €300,000 ($367,200 US) per claim, property damage caused to third parties: €50,000 ($61,200 US) per claim. In addition, there is compensation in the event of accidental death: up to €30,000 ($36,700 US), and compensation for permanent disability by an accident: up to €60,000 ($73,450 US.) This could be a very good precedent for all bike-sharing systems. It is possibly a best practice to emulate.

               Charlotte, North Carolina

Bike-sharing in the United States got a kick start with the Humana Freewhelin' first generation systems at the 2008 National Presidential Conventions in Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a result, Nice Ride Minnesota and Denver B-cycle are flourishing.
Now, in a run up to its September 2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina launched a third generation B-cycle system on July 12, 2012. Charlotte B-cycle will have 200 bikes across 20 stations available in the Center City area within a few weeks. The systemoffering only 2 pass typesis a bit pricey with a day pass at $8 and an annual subscription at $65. After the initial no charge 30 minutes, each additional 1/2 hour is $4.  

As with the the earlier 2008 Political Conventions, the Charlotte system is being mostly paid for by the health industry. Although created by the Charlotte Center City Partnership, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina is the lead sponsor of the system with Carolinas HealthCare System and Verizon sponsoring a smaller portion.

The Charlotte media is calling Charlotte B-cycle the first major bike-sharing system in North Carolina and the largest in the Southeast. That title of the largest should have been applied to The Chattanooga Bike Transit System, in Tennessee. Unfortunately, that system, originally scheduled to begin on April 25, 2012, still isn't open for public use. 

* The Bike-sharing World Map
images: Vélib' vélo'v JCDeacaux #1 El Mundo, WFAE FM and Charlotte B-cycle

Russell Meddin     bikesharephiladelphia.org

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Bike-sharing World -The First Week of July 2012

           Vancouver, British Columbia

The Bike-sharing Blog attended last week’s Velo-city Global 2012 Conference. Bike-sharing was one of the pivotal themes of the week.
The Bike-share Bloggers, Paul deMaio and I made presentations on the topics of Municipal Best Practices and Maping the Explosion of Bike-sharing, the latter with the help of Oliver O’Brien of CASA and Andrea Beatty of B-cycle,  co-presented on the topics of Bike-sharing as an extention of public transit with representatives from Vancouver, Boston and Montréal and co-hosted roundtable discussions on Regional Bike-sharing Lessons with representatives from San Francisco and Boston.
There were presentations on bike-sharing from the four corners of the globe and the standard reference of everyone was our very own, The World Bike-sharing Map

Public Bike Systems Company supplied bicycles to all the hundreds of attendees to the Conference
One of more interesting exhibits at the conference, was a new bike-share bike out of Switzerland, Velobility. The bike centralizes all the electronics and the mechanics into a one “box” drive train, called the Ridebox.
The Ridebox has the capacity to be configured as strictly mechanical or as a pedelec with single or multiple speeds. It could have active GPS to track the bike and special remote locking to disable the bike. It could be configured to recognize a users’ RFID and set the bike to that user’s preferences. All of this is secure in the enclosed belt drive boxThere is more information on the web sites Velobility and Innovations.  Every bike-share vendor at the conference was suitably impressed. Types of these bikes are now in use in several cities in Switzerland and Germany. 

To this bike-share blogger, this bicycle was really the first indication of 4th generation bike-sharing! Couple this bike with a single mobility card (or telecommunications device) that can be used on bike-share, trains, subways, light rail, trams, buses, car sharing, on-street and off-street private bike and private car parking and there will be true 21st century “4th gen” bike-sharing.

Also at Velo-city Global 2012, Michael Jones, the CEO of Portland's Alta Planning, the sister company to Alta Bicycle Share, which is negotiating with Vancouver to implement bike-sharing next spring, said that they are looking into helmet vending machines for all 125 bike stations according to The Vancouver Courier.

                Long Beach, New York

Decorating the Long Island beach community just outside New York City, is the first Decobike system outside of Florida. With 15 stations and 200 bikes, the system launched on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Like its Miami Beach sister, the system can be used as subscription based bike-sharing or for hourly rentals from the same stations. The pricing structure can be seen here. On the first Sunday of operation, the system had close to 2 usages for each one of the bikes. That is very respectable. There is a train every hour from Penn Station in New York City directly to a Decobike station in Long Beach, NY. Everyone in the New York City metropolitan area can get a taste of bike-sharing before the City serves up its main course.

               Kansas City, Missouri

To paraphrase Fats Domino* Bike-sharing is going to Kansas City, Kansas city here it comes. Tomorrow, July 3rd, early in the afternoon,  Kansas City B-cycle rolls across downtown KC with 90 bicycles to outfit 12 stations. Sponsored by a partnership with Bike WalkKC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City this system brings more bike-sharing into the middle of North America. The system will offer daily, weekly, monthly and yearly subscription passes. The rates can be seen here. This brings the total of B-cycle systems to twelve for the beginning of July. We wonder if Kansas City B-cycle has plans on taking a page from Nice Ride Minnesota, Capital bixi, Capital Bikeshare or Hubway by jumping the river and going into Kansas City, Kansas!

The 5th Anniversary Celebration of Vélib' (July 15, 2007) began the last weekend of June with a Grand Party "The 24hr de Vélib'" on the Champs-Élysees to raise money for various charities. Not even bad weather could dampen the spirits of Les Vélibeurs who rode the length of the Grand Avenue over and over again. The more they rode the more money was raised.  There is a good recounting of this event by Marion at Vélib' et Moi

In French and English


To start July, Hangzhou Public Bicycle Service debuted an essential part on any great bike-sharing system, a mascot!

It's name is "'C' class or 'C' earners." The 'C' at the top of its head stands for the French word Cyclisme. This is a goal for all its ridersThe face resembles the spokes of a wheel of a bike-share bike, but in the shape of 
the great West Lake of Hangzhou. The color of its clothes is that of the Hangzhou bikes!
The stuffed toy dolls and lapel pins will be for sale online at Hangzhou Public Bike Service soon! 

Images: The Dike Sharing Blog, Decobike Patch, BikeWalkKC Video: Marie de Paris "C class"
Lyrics Kansas City by Jerry Leiber and Jack Stoller

Russell Meddin      bikesharephiladelphia.org