Slick advisement for Bikesantiago, where the tire isn't a slick
Last Friday Santiago, Chile launched its 2nd bike-sharing program with Bikesantiago. The program with 300 bikes in 25 stations, around the Vitacura section of the city, uses B-cycle equipment. The program is sponsored by one of South America's largest Banks, Itaú. This bank also sponsors many bike-share programs in Brazil and a seasonal one in Uruguay. Bikesantiago currently only offers monthly memberships at 4,999 pesos ($9.85 US), half year memberships at 24,950 pesos ($49.20 US) and yearly memberships at 49,999 ($98.50 US). As with most bike-share programs there is a 30 minute initial period at no extra charge, then 500 peso (about $1.00 US) for the next 30 minutes and 1000 pesos for the next 30 minutes. Santiago hopes to eventually have 3,000 bikes in 300 stations. This is the first deployment of a large North American system in South America and the first B-cycle system outside the USA.
Also last week Ecobici bike-share announced not only was it expanding its service area south into the Benito Juárez section of the City, but there is Bigger News! It has become the first North American bike-share program to be part of a city's multi-modal transit card for the bus, the metro, the trolleybus and parking meters according to Croninca.com. Current Ecobici card holders just need add the service to their plastic RFID card. New customers can add the Ecobici subscription to a new multi-modal card. Mexico City has caught the wave of the "single media fare card" future!
Yes, now that the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a bike-share program is so frequent, it no longer qualifies as news. But even before this blog reported on January 21, 2008 that the Bike Share Philadelphia Forum an Astounding Success, this blogger has been working non stop to make bike-share happen in the city of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Bike Share RFP is just the beginning of a journey started almost seven years ago!
BikeLink is about to begin a bike-share program in Fullerton, California. This is part of a pilot for the Orange County Transportation Authority for 165 bikes in 15 stations. It is a really good re-use of some of the Anaheim, California pilot program from Bike Nation. According to information from Bike Nation, it plans on co-investing in the program in Fullerton by adding 350 bikes in 35 stations. It is great to finally see bike-sharing about to start rolling in the Los Angeles basin.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US Government has made the determination that the cost of bike-sharing memberships does not qualify for the Transportation (Commuting) Benefits Program under Fringe Benefit Rules for transit, according to Forbes.com. Even though the rules allow a $20 a month reimbursement for bicycle commuting to work, from an employer, the IRS determined that bike-sharing was not mass transit or a transit pass, nor was it a purchase or maintenance cost to get to work. So no reduced rate ride! There is never a free ride!
Since Transport for London (TfL) Barclays Cycle Hire sparked a new way to get around London almost three and a half years ago, there is now shocking news that there will be electric cycle hire bikes! As part of London Mayor Boris Johnson's next bicycle plan, according to the Evening Standard, the hillier parts of the City will get several hundred electric or electric assist bike-share bikes. They are not to be part of the current system, but a complement in places where a regular Barclays Cycle Hire could not be running up the hill!
The Bike-sharing World Map is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing. Here is the new easy web address for viewing the map: www.bikesharingworld.com
Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap
See the O'Brien Global Bike Share Map which shows real time bike usage in over 100 cities!
images: Movit, BikeLink, IRS, Lewis Whyld/PA-the Gaurdian London
Russell Meddin bikesharephiladelphia.org