Published on February 21st, 2013 | by James Ayre


Chattanooga Bike-Sharing Pilot Program A Big Success

February 21st, 2013 by  

The Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System, launched last July, has performed very well during its first 6 months, providing over 12,600 rides. This resulted in a roughly 8,100-pound reduction in emissions in the city. Because of the program’s success so far, three new stations will be opening up in the spring.


At first glance, the sprawling city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, doesn’t look like a good place to build a bike-sharing program. Without a strong culture of biking in place before the program, it has nonetheless been quite successful, fulfilling the goals set out by the planners: getting a lot of people to begin bicycling, improving air quality/getting vehicles off the road, and helping to improve peoples’ health.

A lot of the program’s success is probably down to the planning — studies on bike-sharing in the city began back in 2007. Based on surveys done during that time, more than 75% of residents expressed some interest in the program.

“We felt fairly confident that people would try this,” Chattanooga Bike Coordinator Philip Pugliese said. “We’re pretty happy, all things considered.”

The system currently consists of “30 stations and 300 bikes dispersed around a 2.5-square mile area of downtown,” Streetsblog DC notes.

There are currently many other similarly sized cities looking to roll out bike-sharing programs similar to Chattanooga’s within the next couple of years. These include Bridgeport, Connecticut; Portland, Maine; and Fort Collins, Colorado. Such programs, if well designed, can be very effective at reducing air pollution, taking cars off the road, and improving the general health of the population.

Source: Streetsblog

Image Credit: Bike Chattanooga

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • What a great idea; cut carbon, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, AND improve health. Maybe something like this would get people on their own bikes as well. The seed has to be planted somewhere.

    Also, we should all push our cities for bike lanes!

    • Agreed. 😀

    • Bob_Wallace

      We should be pushing our cities to create bike-/pedestrian-only streets.

      Extra wide sidewalks. Lots of room for people to stroll. Enlarged sitting areas, some leased by restaurants.

      Bike lanes down the center. Traffic light controlled vehicle crossing ~ every six blocks.

      Lots of storefront businesses would thrive. Start creating residences on the upper floors. Build neighborhoods.

    • S.Nkm

      Right. And somehow a good chunck of the population feels strongly against it.

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