Friday, September 14, 2012

The Bike-sharing World - Mid-September 2012


United Kingdom:

Barclays Cycle Hire is planning to increase its size by 25% with an expansion into west London next year. Speaking to the press, Mayor Boris Johnson said, "Every Londoner should be able to take advantage of our hugely popular and iconic Barclays Cycle Hire scheme which has already brought untold benefits to London's commuters, businesses, and visitors alike." The plan will bring 2,400 more bikes in 200 new stations to boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth and Kensington, and Chelsea according to Transport for London.

A colloquium, "Bike-sharing: Where are we now?" was held in Strasbourg this week. Representatives from all over France as well as parts of Germany and Switzerland participated. One of the interesting concepts that was discussed is the idea that bike-sharing is a new form of communication. The economist Frédéric Héran, who teaches at the University of Lille, posits that bike-sharing is a way our cities "communicate" about themselves showing that they are vibrant and "trendy." There were also discussions on the change bike-sharing has brought to adhering cities. Most of which were very positive. There were also lively discussions on the relative cost of programs to cities.


A Paris police spokesman said that "a large number of investigators" were working to solve a reported form of "class warfare" vandalism to Paris' wildly successful bike-share system. After 50 Vélib' tires were slashed, according to the report, a group claimed that it planned to vandalize the bikes in all areas of the city that were not in working class districts. The police do not view these claims to be inflated and are working tirelessly to stop any more incidents. 

Mexico City:

Seventy-two more Ecobici stations are up and running in Mexico City this week as the system opens the start of its Phase II expansion. By the end of the year there will 275 Ecobici stations with 4,000 bicicletas rolling around more areas of the City. On Wednesday, the Head of Government for the Federal District of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard, cut the ribbon to open this huge expansion of the Ecobici system according to a city press release. With that one snip of the scissors, Ecobici more than doubled its size. It is hopeful that the ridership will almost triple to 73,000 trips a day with this expansion. The system is open only to residents of Mexico City and had been limited no more than 30,000 subscribers. Phase II is expected to allow up to 100,000 subscribers according to Iván De la Lanza of the Ministry of Environment of Mexico City.

Madison, Wisconsin; Denver, Colorado and Boulder, Colorado:

The B-connected Reciprocity Initiative now includes three B-cycle Cities. Annual subscribers to the Madison, Wisconsin, Boulder, Colorado and Denver, Colorado can use their membership card to take bikes in each other cities. The overage time charges, if any, are at the renting location rates. According to the press release, B-cycle hopes to extend this B-connected Reciprocity Initiative to more of the B-cycle systems in the USA.

Long Beach, California:

Bike Nation the dominate bike-sharing force in the Los Angels Basin has debuted its second generation bike-share bike even before its first generation has hit the streets. In a press release this week Bike Nation shows its new "Made in USA" bike. It expects to create more than 150 new jobs making these bikes to fulfills its plans for the 2,500 bikes in 250 stations for Long Beach, California and the 4,000 bikes in 400 stations for Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Westwood and around Venice Beach, California.  Bike Nation's first deployment of a system which was to begin in Anaheim, California at the end of July, should actually begin operation this month but using the older Bike Nation bike. In Anaheim, there will be 100 bikes in 10 stations to begin, with a goal to increase the size of the system as demand warrants. 

Washington, DC:

For all of you who just can't get enough bike-sharing information, the Pedestrian and Bicycle  Information Center just released the report: Bike Sharing in The United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation. This 68-page report is a good read. The report is available here in PDF form.

Tel Aviv:
Reports out of Tel Aviv are that it will not be fun to use Tel-O-Fun on Wednesday, September 26th. Although there is now a compromise, according to The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Minister of Transportation threatened to stop all funding to Tel-O-Fun if it did not close down for the religious holiday of Yom Kippur -- an important Jewish holiday, on that date. The Jewish religion forbids work on Yom Kippur. The compromise is that on Yom Kippur only annual subscribers will be allowed to use the system; casual members will not.

The World:

The Bike-sharing World Map is the #1 resource for bike-sharing systems. It shows new systems which come online which might not be covered in The Bike-sharing Blog. Keep up with the changing bike-sharing world by frequent visits to The Bike-sharing World Map.

images: TfL,Strasbourg, MexicoB-cycleBikeNation, Tel-O-Fun

Russell Meddin

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Bike-sharing World - First Week of September 2012


As summer comes to a close, the folks at bIXI Montréal have come up with a great new subscription membership plan for the occasional user. A bIXI key is issued with an online registration for $5 CDN ($5 US). Each day (24 hours) in which the key is used the subscriber is charged $5 and gets an initial ride time of 45 minutes with no extra charge for each use. This is a $2 savings over the regular day access rate which only gives a 30-minute initial ride time for each use during the 24 hours. The best part is that having the bIXI key eliminates using your credit card kiosk each time a bike is taken. 

Why has this taken so long to implement!!! When London first started, this was the only way a casual user could sign up for a day pass. This is a great plan for frequent visitors to the city who just can't utilize the value of monthly or yearly subscriptions. What about Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, London again, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Chattanooga, the Boston region, and the Washington, DC region? When do they get this plan?

                          Various Cities:   Crowd Sourcing Maps
Click on link below
Bike Nation - Downtown Los Angeles
Click on link below
Capital Bikeshare - Washington, DC region

Click on link below
Cincinnati Bike Share
Click on link below
Citi Bike - New York City

Click on link below
Bike Share Philly
Click on link below
Portland Bike Share

As new bike-sharing systems begin or older ones expand, the question of where to put bike-sharing stations needs to be answered. There are formulas that weigh proximity to transportation hubs, shopping areas, and residential density that are used for indicators. Following the in-place bicycling infrastructure as a guide is also used. Since the prospective users are the ones to be served, the best resource for bike-sharing station location is the users! The users know here they need stations at the start and the end of their journeys. Theses crowdsourcing maps are the answer to the question. They ask the users where stations should be placed. Developed originally for Capital Bikeshare in the Washington, D.C. region, their popularity for bike-sharing has grown quickly as shown above.

Quick updates:
Bike Nation will soon be fully operational in Anaheim. They recently won approval from the Long Beach, California, City Council to build a 2,500-bicycle/250-station service to go along with the installations planned in the Los Angeles basin areas of Downtown L.A., Venice, Hollywood, and Westwood.

Greenville, South Carolina has issued a bike-share RFP. The hot summer has made the Southeast USA a hot bed for bike-sharing.


After an exhausting ride with just one minute to spare before those extra charges begin, it's great to know that you can dock your bike-share and get a refreshing drink or a quick snack. Well, the Hangzhou Public Bike Service thinks its users want that. They have commissioned 200 food and beverage kiosks to be installed next to some of the 2260 bike-share stations throughout Hangzhou according to a recent report.

Also out of Hangzhou there have been a few reports of bicycle failures due to rust. According to China Gxnews, a woman was thrown from a bike-share when the front fork collapsed. The report said the metal of the fork was so rusted that it was "paper thin". The oldest of the bikes have been in service for three years. Many are now being replaced.


The Bike-sharing World Map is the #1 resource for bike-sharing systems. It shows new systems which come online which might not be covered in The Bike-sharing Blog. Keep up with the changing bike-sharing world by frequent visits to The Bike-sharing World Map.

images: bIXI, Food kiosk

Russell Meddin