Published on August 29th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan1
San Francisco Bike Sharing Program Opens Today, US Bike Sharing Fleet More Than Doubles In 2013
[Regular readers, tune out or skip this opening paragraph.] Back in Spring 2007, I was finishing my master’s studies in city & regional planning, conducting the second half of my master’s thesis in the Netherlands. My thesis was on the relationship between bicycle facilities (numerous specific facilities) and bicycle transportation. Later that year until I moved over to Poland to be with a lady I met in the Netherlands, I was working as executive director of a nonprofit focused on advancing transportation freedom and equity (e.g., supporting and promoting bicycling, streetcars, buses, and pedestrians) in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. In that job, I of course travelled to some bicycle and mass transit conferences. At both, I saw excellent presentations on just sprouting bicycle sharing programs. Right off the bat, I knew these were going to be big, and tried to get one going in Charlottesville (unfortunately, no one wanted to fund one there at the time… but I did get funding for some other equally cool projects, imho). Sure enough, perhaps a little slower than I would have thought, these bike-sharing programs have been taking off.
From Paris to London to Hangzhou to Beijing to New York City to Chicago to DC to my own city (Wrocław) and many in between, these “3rd generations” bike sharing programs are all the rage. As the article below notes, the US bike-sharing fleet has actually more than doubled in 2013 alone.
Interestingly, San Francisco (which you’d think would be a leader on this front — tech meets bikes) is just now getting rolling with a sophisticated bike sharing program. It’s regional program launched today. Here’s more on San Francisco’s new program, US bike sharing in general, and the largest bike sharing programs in the world, via sister site sustainablog:
By Janet Larsen The opening of the San Francisco Bay Area bike share on August 29, 2013, brings the combined fleet of shared bikes in the United States above 18,000, more than a doubling since the start of the year. The United States is now home to…