If you already know all about it, you know how cool it is. If not listen up, it may blow your mind.
The idea reminds me of the cart rentals at the airport. You put money in the station and it spits out a cart. When your done with it you just deposit it in the nearest station. Bike sharing is exactly the same, but with bikes. In a good system there are stations all over the city. You pay a monthly fee to have unlimited access to their bikes.
The advantages are huge. For one, bikes can be used in correlation with transit. With bike sharing you don’t have to worry about what to do with your bike when you get to the bus or train. Also lets consider the economic, environmental, physical health benefits of biking rather than driving. Compared with cars bikes are cheap. No gas, no insurance, no car payment. Bikes are a zero emissions vehicle. ZERO. The only side effect may be a healthier lifestyle.
And with bike sharing you get all the benefits of bicycling without having to worry about storing, locking or maintaining your bike.
Bike sharing programs promote cycling. More people on bikes = less on the road, it sounds like a good idea to me. If cities recognized the benefits, why would they not want to put a few dollars toward a program like this?
So yeah, bike sharing is cool.
The idea is really starting to take off around the world. Traditionally, the U.S. falls behind our world neighbors on any transportation that doesn’t involve cars. But we are starting to see bike sharing programs popping up all over the country. Denver opened their B-cycle on April 22 of this year. They claim to be the largest in the nation. But, I am guessing that wont last long.
They have a site http://www.bcycle.com/whowantsitmore.aspx where you can vote for your city to get bike sharing next.
Miami Beach is about to open up a really great program.
They are marketing the whole thing as the being the only green transportation. What I love about it is the $15 a month membership fee. They say it is equivalent to 3000mpg. Now that is cool.