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Tag Archive: urban cycling

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.

divvy

Bike infrastructure = must-have for today’s cities

A couple of news items and an associated report caught our attention this week — based on a study jointly conducted by advocacy groups PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking and Walking, cities simply cannot afford to go without modern bike infrastructure:

It isn’t window dressing. Or a “hip cities” thing. Bike infrastructure — not the watered-down stuff, but high-quality bikeways that get more people on bikes — is becoming a must-have for cities around the U.S.

That’s according to a new report from Bikes Belong and the Alliance for Biking and Walking. Researchers at these groups interviewed 15 business leaders from around the country about what impact bike facilities are having on their bottom line.

Read the article covering the release (including important key points) by visiting the D.C. Streetsblog page, or download the PDF report directly by clicking here. Although the report focuses its attention on protected, separated bike lanes, there are important lessons here for city planners and politicians to learn.

In any case, it’s an interesting and eye-opening read…but what I liked hearing from the report is that people who use a bike to get to and from work are smarter, healthier, and more creative. No surprises there, of course — we’re smarter and better-looking on two wheels than the average car-bound citizen!

A new ‘Golden Age’ of Bicycling?

The following article popped up in our news feed and on our Facebook page over the weekend — a Salon article interviewing bike activist and author Elly Blue on her new book Bikenomics:

It’s hard to deny that bicycles are having a moment. Last year saw New York City, Chicago, Salt Lake City and Columbus all get bike-share systems of their very own — joining Boston, London, Paris, Dublin, Moscow, Hangzhou, Montreal and many, many other cities throughout the world. Increasingly, people are talking about bikes as a replacement for cars (and even trucks), debating the best ways to design bike lanes and bike-friendly intersections, dreaming up futuristic bike paths and, above all else, taking to the streets on two wheels.

But bicycling’s recent rise to the spotlight isn’t just a passing fad, argues writer and bike activist Elly Blue. Instead, she says, growing numbers of people are beginning to recognize the tangible benefits — to themselves and to their cities — of trading in cars for self-powered transportation. And the research is backing up their experiences. Blue’s new book, “Bikenomics,” draws on a growing body of academic work, along with her own involvement with the country’s bicycle movement, to make the economic case for bicycles. As for the people who insist, in the face of such evidence, that bike commuters are a scourge on humanity? Blue maintains they’re just bitter from spending so much time stuck in traffic.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

I hope she’s right, that using a bike for transportation will be old news within five years…What do YOU think? Are we finally in a new “Golden Age” of bicycling? Is the pro-bicycling momentum finally self-sustaining to where more and more cities will jump onboard with infrastructure and the like? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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.

divvy

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.

Bicycles outselling cars!!!

Have you guys seen this? This was an article on NPR a few days ago…and we had to share it:

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

Indeed, earlier this month, NPR’s Lauren Frayer reported that Spain, which has long had a love affair with cars, is embracing the bicycle: For the first time on record, Lauren noted, bicycles outsold cars in the country.

But it’s becoming a Continent-wide phenomenon. More bikes were sold in Italy than cars — for the first time since World War II.

Read more of the link-heavy article by visiting the NPR page directly.

Here’s a chart as to what is going on:

bike_sales_chart

We are still hoping to see a similar comparison between car and bicycle sales in the U.S. If anyone out there has stumbled across such numbers, please let us know.