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Tag Archive: bike share

D.C.’s overloaded bike parking

Here’s an article I spotted in the Washington Post‘s free daily, Express, with the catchy headline “Good Luck Parking That Thing”. It seems that the D.C. Metro area’s many bike commuters (3.1% of commuters, according to recent Census reports) are more than parking areas can handle:

Co-workers Stavely Lord and David Hambric both thought it’d be smart to ride their bikes to happy hour on 14th Street last Friday night. The moment they arrived, they realized the problem with this plan: parking.

Every rack was packed. And all of the meters and street signs in sight were already sporting Kryptonite locks. The only spot left was along one side of a tree box.

“So we had to share,” Hambric said as he detached his frame from Lord’s. (They’d latched the two together, and then locked up to the metal railing.) Hambric, a Bloomingdale resident, explained that coming up with such creative solutions is just part of being a cyclist in Washington, “where bike parking is at a premium, and demand has outstripped supply.”

Read the full article by visiting the Washington Post page.

It’s a glorious problem to have, for sure…also a sure sign that cities need to keep up with growing demands. We’ve talking about this a lot over the years, that encouraging more people to travel by bike takes so much more than painting a few stripes on the pavement. To increase bike share in a city, there needs to be a comprehensive development of related infrastructure, and that includes ample bike parking wherever it will fit!

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Bixi files for bankruptcy

Have you heard about this? One of the nation’s largest bike-sharing companies — Bixi — filed for bankruptcy a few days ago:

By the time it happened, it seemed almost inevitable. On January 20, the Bixi bike-sharing company, based in Montréal, announced that it was filing for bankruptcy protection, citing debts totaling about $49 million, including a total of nearly $38 million from the city of Montréal.

Bixi, also known as Public Bike System, is based in Montréal, but its reach extends around the globe, with systems in place in more than a dozen cities in North America, Europe, and Australia, mostly operated by third parties. Mia Birk, vice president of Alta Bicycle Share, which operates eight Bixi-provided bike-share systems in the United States and Melbourne, Australia, said in an email shortly after the bankruptcy announcement that operations of those systems would be unaffected.

The good news is that current systems are supposed to be unaffected by the move. Read the full article by visiting the Atlantic Cities page. I would imagine that it WILL affect rollout of bike-share systems in new cities, however.

Luckily, there are other companies stepping up to the plate. For example, CycleHop and Social Bicycles recently announced that they will be backing a bike-share system in my old hometown of Tampa, Florida.

Bike sharing schemes are important for cities…one smart way of rejuvenating downtown areas and urban corridors. Let’s hope that Bixi can recover from its financial woes and continue to support its existing city clients.

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Going to Europe? Rent a bicycle!

Since Mir.I.am did such a great job on the bike share by the bay article, I wanted to provide our readers this infopgraphic that was provided to us by momondo.com to help those who are planning on traveling to Europe, to take full advantage of the bike sharing programs in several European cities. What’s even more interesting, the bike share program in Paris has about 18,000 bicycles available for rent and 1200 bicycle stations. Wow, that’s pretty impressive!
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A guide to a successful bike sharing program

We’ve seen more and more cities roll out bike-sharing schemes, from Divvy to CitiBike, from Velib to Mejor en Bici. We LOVE bike shares, and we’ve seen them be wild successes and dismal failures.

You know what? There’s a new guide out that can help cities develop programs on the “wild success” side of the coin. The guide was created by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP):

More than 600 cities around the globe have bike share systems, and new systems are starting every year. The largest and most successful systems, in places such as China, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., have helped to promote cycling as a viable and valued transport option.

This guide evaluates international best practice in bike share, helps to bridge the divide between developing and developed countries’ experiences to provide guidance on planning and implementing a successful bike share system regardless of the location, size, or density of your city.

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Read some highlighst of the guide by visiting this Treehugger page, or download the 152-page PDF guide directly from the ITDP here.

A peek behind the scenes at Chicago’s Divvy

As many of you may know, we’re big fans of bike sharing schemes around here. And we’re pretty fascinated by the inner workings of such bike share programs.

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Now, here’s a bit of a teaser into Chicago’s Divvy Bikes. There’s not a ton of detail, but still an interesting short read:

There are no signs or banners on this nondescript industrial warehouse in West Town to indicate that the 18,000-square-foot structure is headquarters for what could soon become the largest commuter cycling system in the country.

“It’s intentional,” Divvy Deputy General Manager Elliot Greenberger said. “We’re off the radar.”

Read the full article by visiting the RedEye Chicago page.