(10 December 2013) – The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), an NGO based in New York City, has just published “The Bike Share Planning Guide”, which evaluates international best practice in bike share to provide guidance on planning and implementing a successful bike share system regardless of the location, size, or density of the city concerned.
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 DC, have helped to promote cycling as a viable and valued transport option.
If you want to have a great bike-share program in your city, a few factors are key:
- Lots of densely situated stations, ideally no more than about 325 yards apart
- Many bikes (10-30 per 1,000 residents in the coverage area)
- A sweeping coverage area that’s more than six square miles
- Solid, usable bikes with hardware that discourages theft
- Easy-to-use stations and payment systems
The ITDP report gives seven cities high marks for their systems, using the number of daily uses for each bike and average daily trips per 1,000 residents as the measures of success. The top cities are:
- Barcelona (10.8 trips per bike, 67.9 trips per 1,000 residents)
- Lyon (8.3 trips per bike, 55.1 trips per 1,000 residents)
- Mexico City (5.5 trips per bike, 158.2 trips per 1,000 residents)
- Montreal (6.8 trips per bike, 113.8 trips per 1,000 residents)
- New York City (8.3 trips per bike, 42.7 trips per 1,000 residents)
- Paris (6.7 trips per bike, 38.4 trips per 1,000 residents)
- Rio de Janeiro (6.9 trips per bike and 44.2 trips per 1,000 residents)
The report includes some astonishing numbers about the rapid growth of bike-share systems around the world. The first schemes were introduced in the 1960s, but they mostly operated on the honor system and were plagued by theft.