Thursday, September 11, 2014

North American Bike-share Association Conference

The North American Bike-share Association (NABSA) is a newly formed non-profit group created to share information and best practices for bike-share system owners, operators, and vendors. NABSA held its first large conference on September 7 - 8 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA with over 100 attendees from around the U.S. and Canada and as far as England and Germany. Bike-share equipment vendors such as PBSC Urban Solutions, 8D Technologies, Social Bicycles, Bewegentech, and nextbike were also present showing off their latest innovations.

The two packed days of break-out sessions included proposals for open data standards to align the output of data that systems produce for public consumption, creation of an International Bike-share Database with an agreed upon glossary of terms and metrics for a better apples-to-apples comparison of systems, and owners meeting with their sister municipalities and respective software/hardware vendors to discuss needed improvements as well as innovations on the horizon.

As a fledgling industry, NABSA is necessary to strengthen our knowledge of bike-sharing among owners and operators of a variety of backgrounds -- municipal, non-profit, and for-profit -- and learn from the successes and failures of other systems for the betterment of each system and the public they serve.

As the program manager for Arlington, Virginia, USA's portion of Capital Bikeshare, I can say it was truly valuable to be at the conference. While the focus of the group is North America, NABSA is open to all and if you're associated with a bike-share system, regardless of where it is in the world, I'd recommend checking out

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