A Tale of Two Cities
As 2012 was coming to a close, two of the most successful bike-share programs in Europe announced steep price increases of 100% or more for 2013! In October, Bicing in Barcelona announced membership policy changes and price increases of 116% according El País. In November, Barclays Cycle Hire in London announced doubling the price of daily, weekly and annual memberships according to the Times.
A funny thing happened. The reaction in Barcelona by the Bicing membership was swift and strong. There was a demonstration, Save our Bicing, protesting the increase with a march on City Hall. Opposition by Bicing members and the bicycle community at large caused the city government to re-think the increase and ultimately changed the increase to only 3% (the consumer price index change for the year). This will start in February according to Bicing.
While in London, there seems to have been very little reaction. Boris Bikers took the increases with the proverbial British, "stiff upper lip" and dug deeper in their pockets. The rate increase took effect on January 2, 2013 according to Transport for London. There were a few complaints on how the renewals were handled, but nothing nearing the reaction as in Barcelona. If there is a bright side to a 100% price increase in London, it is that the new one day rate of £2 ($3.20 US) is still less than a regular one way "Tube" or bus fare!
|Paul DeMaio at Capital Bikeshare Launch on September 20, 2010|
The Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States
In the daily web magazine Slate, January 7, 2013, the column, Doers: People who accomplish great things and how they do it, The Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States: How D.C., of all places, made it happen, profiles fellow bike-share blogger Paul DeMaio as one of the prime movers and shakers that made Capital Bikeshare a reality. This is great recognition for Paul, his work and the The Bike-sharing Blog. Capital Bikeshare could not have happened without the work of many, many people in both Arlington County and the Washington, DC. Many are listed in this Slate article and in the Greater Greater Washington, January 9, 2013 article: Many unsung heroes made Capital Bikeshare a reality. Each and every one of them deserves a lot of credit. Thank all of you for making Capital Bikeshare The Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States. There are a few cities though, that might take exception to which is the best!
images Bicing, Barclays, Metrobike LLC
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Russell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org