Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Bike-sharing World - the Last Week of May 2012

South America:
                       São Paulo

Bike Sampa starts city-wide bike-sharing in Brazil's largest city -- São Paulo. As its sister program, Bike Rio's Samba, Sampa is a joint venture of Sertel, Mobilicidade, and sponsored by Banco Itaú. Although beginning with 100 bikes in six stations this week, the service plans to have 1,000 bikes in 100 stations by the end of the year and for 3,000 bikes by 2014. Initial sign up is online at with a R$10.00 ($5.00 US) fee for a pass that is valid until March 2013. Each time a bike is taken out there is no charge for the first 30 minutes of use, then R$5.00 ($2.50 US) for each additional 30 minutes. There is a 15-minute wait time between each time a bike is returned before another can be taken again to avoid additional charges.

North America:
USA Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The second bike-sharing system in Oklahoma debuted last week in Oklahoma City, called Spokies. The first, Tulsa Townies, was also the first 3rd generation system, albeit with a recreational focus, in North America (see the Bike-sharing Blog July 2007 and the Bike-sharing Blog August 2011). There are 95 Spokies in 6 stations. The system uses Sandvault stations and Worksman Bicycles. It is necessary to sign up online and the cost is $75 for a one-year membership, $20 for a one-month membership, and $5 for a day pass. There are unlimited 30-minute rides with no wait period after returning a bike before taking another. Each additional half hour of continual use is $2. Generally, North American bike-share systems are theft free, but within the first week, two men at a Spokie station swiped bikes instead of swiping their credit card. According to News 9, the two men were arrested and the bikes recovered.  

                      Chattanooga, Tennessee
Although scheduled to have launched (see the Bike-sharing Blog April 2012), technical difficulties have prevented deployment and use of the Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System. Membership sales have been suspended according to their website. News on the system can be followed on the Bike Chattanooga twitter account.


The west coast of Japan gets another bike-sharing system this month with introduction of Machi-Nori. Not far from Toyoma, this city with a population of 500,000 gets 155 bikes in 18 stations. Sign up is at any of the stations or a office where cash is accepted. A year membership cost is ¥9,000 ($114 US), a month membership is ¥1,000 ($12 US), and the day cost is ¥200 ($2.50US), with the first 30 minutes of use at no extra charge and each additional 30 minutes at ¥200. There is a very good set of English directions and Map for the system.

BIkeMi is once again increasing its size. With 128 stations it is the largest city system in Italy. According to BikeMi, there have been in one day over 6,600 usages of the close to 1,500 bikes in the system.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bike-sharing Blog Turns 5

Five years ago today The Bike-sharing Blog was born. In Blog years, similar to dog years, that's like 35 years old. It's unbelievable how much has happened in these last five years in the world of bike-sharing. Bike-sharing has spread like wildfire around the world and it's still got a long way to go. Once a handful of cities had it and now there are over 400, with more popping up every week, adding to this list. More carbon emissions are being saved, people are slimming down, and cities are becoming a bit friendlier. The Bike-sharing Blog has been viewed nearly 500,000 times and its companion piece, The Bike-sharing World Map has been viewed 2.3 million times.

Thank you to all those who visit The Bike-sharing Blog, comment on our posts, and contact us with breaking news from around the world. Also, thank you to Russell Meddin, my co-author, who is a fountain of knowledge and a prolific blogger.

Here's to another 5 years!

Paul DeMaio
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Bike-sharing Blog
Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Bike-sharing World - Second Week of May 2012


May 2, 2012 brings back Bysykkel to the streets of Drammen, Norway after a long multi-year hiatus. This time 140 bikes and 15 stations are available for use in the city with the purchase of a kroner 90 ($15 US) subscription online.  Drammen Bysykkel was one of the first automated bike-sharing systems when launched in April 2001. Installed by Clear Channel just three years after its Vélo à la Carte in France, the system originally had 250 bikes and 28 stations. After the 2009 season, Bysykkel was suspended during negotiations between the City and Clear Channel. With everything settled, bike-sharing has returned to Drammen.

This month brought the consolidation of bike systems in Switzerland with the purchase of Velopass by PostBus. Starting in 2009, Velopass began offering automated bike-sharing in Switzerland. Today it has 80 stations with 800 bicycles in 20 cities with 11,000 subscribers.

PostBus started service in August 2011 with PubliBike at rail stations to give passengers transport options. There are currently six locations with more planned for this year. The company's goal is to establish a system that integrates many cities so users may easily borrow bicycles with an electronic card valid across a national network. 

Huangyan Public Bicycle Development Company in Huangyan District of Taizhou is debuting the design for its new integrated Bus-Bike station to be used in the expansion of this 5-month old program from 1,000 to 2,500 bicycles. The concept is to make seamless connections between the bike-sharing service and the bus service. Huangyan is not the only city integrating bus and bike stations. Yinchuan City which is in the process of planning a 4,000-bicycle bike-share system for early summer 2013, calls for constructing 200 integrated bus and bike stations. City governments throughout China with either older or newer bike-sharing systems are looking for totally integrated transportation systems with regular bus, bus rapid transit, and subways.

                 Houston, Texas

On schedule, Houston became the second city in Texas to institute bike-sharing. On May 2nd, Houston B-cycle began with 18 bikes in 3 stations with the promise of 200 more bikes by year's end for this auto-centric city. For just $50, a yearly subscription gives 45 minutes at no charge for each trip. A daily pass is offered at $5 and a weekly at $15. Each additional half hour will cost a user $2.
                  Chicago, Illinois
Just as the City of Chicago signs a $21 million contract with Alta Bicycle Share for a 3,000-bike, 300-station system. Crain's Business Journal and Chicago Reader are reporting that the Chicago Inspector General is considering looking into irregularities in the award process. Two of companies have filed formal protest to the award.


Toronto bIXI celebrates if first anniversary with over 550,000 trips. Toronto has the distinction of being the only North American bike-sharing system north of the 43rd parallel to remain open through the winter months. It also has the distinction of being one of the most expensive systems to use, charging $95 CDN ($95 US) for a yearly subscription.

This week the Métro system run by Société de Transport de Montréal, STM, came to a halt and Montréal bIXI came to the rescue. With a disruption of train service affecting 200,000 commuters, biXi swiftly put out more stations to help ease a commuter nightmare. Over 4,500 bIXI trips were taken between 8 AM - 10 AM during the shutdown.

Also out of Montreal are law suits between Public Bike System Company, PBSC, the makers of the bIXI system and its long-time back-end software suppliers 8D. According 8D's press release, they are suing PBSC for $26,000,000 for a business relationship dispute. PBSC states in it's press release that they are suing 8D for $2,500,000 for over-billing. 

Writing about STM, there is talk in the Montreal Gazette about STM taking over the management of Montréal's bIXI. The Gazette indicates that Michel Philibert, the bIXI spokesperson, believes there is "a certain logic" to STM running the bike-sharing program. 

There seems to be a lot going on in Montreal. So stay turned with The Bike-sharing Blog.

images: Clear Channel, PubliBike, Huangyan, russblib Houston BixiToronto

Russell Meddin

Monday, May 7, 2012

Citi Bike by Citibank Will Be The Name of NYC Bikeshare

According to Bloomberg News, CitiGroup will sponsor New York City Bikeshare. With a promise of $41,000,000, Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, will offer 10,000 bikes branded with the New York-based bank’s logo at 600 docking stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, Queens.

The Citi Bike pricing is announced as $95 for an annual pass, $25 for a 7-day pass, and $9.95 for 24-hour access. The first 30 minutes are at no extra charge, but the overage time escalates very sharply for every 30 minutes thereafter.

Also Bloomberg News is reporting that MasterCard will sponsor the system with $6,500,000 by providing bike-share stations with a “PayPass Tap & Go” payment option with the traditional magnetic-stripe terminals as part of its “Priceless New York” promotion.

New York, London, and Rio de Janeiro, you can bank on the bike-sharing!

images: Gothamist, CitiBike Doppelganger

Russell Meddin