Friday, October 21, 2011

The Bike-sharing World: The last week of October 2011


UK: London - The little queen, the Prince and the Princess

In France, an endearing term for the Vélib' bikes are the petites reines, or little queens. This gives Parisian bike-sharers an air of royalty. Recent reports in British tabloids say that London royals Prince William and Princess Kate are using the little queens of Barclays Cycle Hire to get around London when they are in town visiting that other Queen. 

According to the Evening Standard, the royal couple have been seen using the bike-sharing system around the city. Their usage has been confirmed by a spokesperson from St. James Palace. It seems though that the royal couple does not use their "Boris Bike Tandem" wedding present, as seen in The Bike-sharing Blog in April, but travel on their own little queen.

Cyprus: Nicosia - easyBike

On October 26th, easyBike will be launching a new bike-sharing system in Nicosia, Cyprus. There will be around 300 bikes distributed through 27 stations in the greater Nicosia area. The system is a collaborative effort between the Greek company easyBike and the French company Smoove.

North America:

USA: Washington, DC - Raising More Capital

In less than two weeks, Washington, DC's and Arlington, VA's Capital Bikeshare will increase the cost of its causal user daily pass from $5 US to $7 US and change the $15 US 5-day pass to a 3-day pass, reports The Washington Post. 

Also, a recent decision will now allow Capital Bikeshare stations to be placed in one of Washington's most visited tourist areas, the National Mall. Could it be that the idea behind raising the price is the hope that now many more of the thousands of visitors to the Nation's Capital will use the system to sight-see and therefore help raise the capital needed to expand Capital Bikeshare!

Chattanooga, Tennessee
News reports out of Chattanooga say that Bike Chattanooga, the 300-bike/30-station system expected to launch next month, has been delayed until sometime in 2012. It seems that elements of the proposed system can not meet the "Buy American" clause of the Federal Transportation funding at this time.

Update: October 26, 2011, In response to what was reported in local Chattanooga news concerning the postponement of the launch of Bike Chattanooga, Philip Pugliese, Bicycle Coordinator, Outdoor Chattanooga, has informed the Bike-sharing Blog that the current system delay is fully associated with production timing and has nothing to do with Buy America or other Federal Transportation Administration issues. He wrote that while complexities associated with federal funding did take longer than expected, all have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. 

South America

Columbia: Medellín - Students Graduate

Last week, the student inspired Bici-K bike-sharing began operation in Medellín, Colombia. The Bike-sharing Blog in August reported on these efforts. This inspiration has now become EnCicla which has deployed 145 bicycles in 6 stations over two different areas of Medellín. While it appears that the program was created to facilitate easier connections between two major universities and public transit, the system will have limited enrollment. 

EnCicla offers bikes for urban and trail use, so it is available for both transportation and recreation. The system was financed by the metropolitan government and the universities. We hope to see this program prosper and expand to serve all of Medellín.

images: Royals - BarclayseasyBike, The Bike-sharing Blog, Universidad Eafit 

Russell Meddin

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