These days, it seems like the term “bike share” is popping up all over the place. From social media, to news articles, to actual bike stations it’s hard not to have some sort of interaction with it. But the real question is, what is it and how does it work? We wanted to help you know the ins and outs of bike share programs and so we’ve put together this blog to help fill you in on some of the details.
What is Bike Share?
To put it simply, bike share are programs that make bikes, or e-Bikes, available to folks on a short-term basis. People can use these bikes to run errands, commute, or have fun and then leave the bike at a designated location once they’ve reached where they’re going.
How Do They Work?
There are a variety of ways that bike share programs operate. From regulated to unregulated, here are some of the more popular ways that these programs operate. One popular program is unregulated, which is free access to bikes and often found on college or corporate campus. Deposit, is another popular way for folks to access bikes by paying a small fee to check out, and return, a bike at a docking station. Membership is another operating platform, it gives paying share members access to bikes. Finally, dockless programs are another program that’s becoming increasingly prevalent. These programs allow folks to use bikes and not have to return the to a docking station.
Bike Share Then and Now
Despite its recent boom, bike share is hardly a new concept. In fact, the first bike share program was introduced to Europe in 1965. Since then, programs have spread all over the world. A 2014 statistic showed that bike share programs were operating in 50 countries with 806,200 bikes in service at 37,500 stations. These numbers keep growing as cities become more sensitive to urban congestion and environmental issues.
Bike Share Benefits
Cities across America are quickly embracing bike share programs. Not only are they a healthy, inexpensive way for folks to get around, bike and e-Bike share programs also offer great benefits to cities. These programs cut the number of privately driven vehicles, which drastically reduce gridlock, parking woes, and other common headaches of urban living. Share programs are also great for the environment. With bikes producing zero emissions, they serve to help improve the air quality in cities and are a truly sustainable mode of transportation.
When cities invest in bike share programs, they’re also investing in the health, happiness, and well-being of their citizens and city alike. We’re so excited to see more and more bike share programs pop up! To learn more about a bike share program located here in the Bay Area, check out this blog.