Riding the Bike Share Boom

Riding the Bike Share Boom


This has really been a banner year for the roll out of Bicycle Sharing All around the world and especially here in North America We’ve seen several of the largest cities in the US New York City of course, Chicago, San Francisco, all roll out bicycle share systems. Here at ITDP we really want to make sure that this trend continues And that cities all around the world continue to adapt bicycle share And to make that easier we’ve launched a bicycle share guide that breaks down the barrier, help cities understand exactly what goes in the making of bicycle share system how to make it successful. The idea being more cities will adapt this bike share system and the system that they do implement will continue to be high quality that really serve city residents and cyclists well We launched just this Memorial Day And we’ve been seeing over 40,000 rides per day on the 6,000 bikes system routinely across the seasons So, New Yorkers have made Citi Bike their own They have integrated into the transportation system We’ve got over 90,000 members in just a few months. We sold out the 5.000 founding membership in 36 hours last spring. And I think bike share just got a tremendous future in New York and in cities of the world Divvy is a very huge success And not just because I’m saying it But everybody in the city loves it It’s got a really positive vibe around it a great reputation as being a reliable transportation And it’s fun! Bike share has really been embraced pretty heavily by the NACTO cities and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. First of all, I think all the NACTO cities really get the importance of cycling as an important mode of travel in our cities to make them more sustainable Bike share is a way to jump up your mode share in cycling It’s a way to introduce people into cycling that might not otherwise tried because they don’t have a bike It’s also maybe a way to get more people to do more of their trips on a bike We research over 25 systems around the world to figure out what makes a bike share system really good And some of the things we found are pretty common sense That bike share systems need to have attractive high quality bikes that people are actually going to want to ride They need to have stations that are easy to use and payment systems that are easy to use Divvy means to divide and share You got a nice little bell built in You got three speeds You got a basket up front which holds my briefcase perfectly or a bag of groceries Of course we have fenders, so that you don’t get splashed by water This is a ‘all-weather, all-year’ bike We got the rules of the road right here “Follow traffic laws, walk bikes on sidewalk” This is a cute little key fob here you stick it in pull it out when it turns green, you lift the seat, pop it right out Then, adjust the seat And it’s got numbers on there. See. So I always know that I’m a ‘five’ And that’s it! We also dug into a lot of the data And we first tried to answer what does a high quality bicycle share system even mean And what we found is that the density of the stations is incredibly important in determining how many people will use the system The higher density of stations throughout the city the more convenient it is for people who want to use it The stations are closer together, the closer to the people who want to ride them and the closer to their destination We found that the best system had between 10 and 16 stations per square kilometre. We’ve created some of the biggest bike share stations in the world Because of the density, because of the number of people that pour out of these buildings, and the number of people who want a better connection to transit. We’re seeing 7 rides per day, 6 rides per day regularly before it got cold, and I think there are couple of reasons for that. One is we spent five years putting in a really good bike lane network. In the current Citi Bike area we have 152 miles of bike lanes, including 30 miles of protected bike lanes And that something the city like London doesn’t have Some other great thing about bike sharing is that it’s a really healthy form of active transport that gets people in shape as they get around It’s also available 24 hours a day 7 days a week It doesn’t shut down at 2 in the morning and you don’t have to wait for it to arrive You just walk to the station and the bike is there. I’ve been using it almost every day just because it’s fun because it’s easy to use, you don’t have to worry about locking your bike at the other end you just find the pod and you plug it in and you walk away. Bike share works. Bike share in big transit based city like New York, it always works. We are developing on our water fronts We don’t have subways on water fronts, so people using bike share to get to and from mass transit. One other thing that I’m really proud of with Divvy and really with all bike sharing systems is that there’s really a social equity, social justice component to this There are parts of our city that don’t have the best bus service or don’t have CTA rail And we can put Divvy stations there and create a public transportation system at a very low cost A membership to Divvy is $75 a year. That’s 20 cents a day! If you live in a fifth floor walk-up building you might not want to own a bike Or you may’ve had a couple stolen and you don’t want to go there again. Citi Bike clears away those last obstacles and that’s why we’ve seen over five million ride just in the last five months on the system So there’s a whole bunch of really interesting and successful different bicycle share system types happening around the world We got Hangzhou in China which has over 50,000 bikes, considered the largest bicycle share system in the world. Mexico City which is probably our highest performing system in North America, has 50 stations per square kilometre, so the stations are really closely space throughout the coverage area They’re easy to find, they’re close to destination In Washington D.C. in 2012, Capital Bicycle Share recovered 120 percent of its operating cost through user membership and user fee on using the system. If you compare that with the local public transit, the buses and the trains, those have a 50% subsidy So the bicycle share system is actually a really economically sustainable mode of public transit as well Chicago has now made an announcement that they plan to have the most stations of any bicycle share systems in the country We already planned to go to 400 stations We’re announcing expansion to 475, with more CMAQ money. We’ve also got an application to the state for another 75 stations, which we don’t know if it would be awarded. But that would take us to 550 next year. So we’re really seeing the systems grow and expand in different ways around the world. And it’s a really positive thing, all this systems are getting better.