What is Bike Sharing?

 

A great and simple definition of bike sharing is provided by Paul DeMaio of MetroBike LLC in Washington DC; "short term bicycle rental available at unattended stations"

In essence the value provided by bike sharing schemes comes from the provision of a new form of public transport - of bicycles (often on a mass scale) available to members of the public for use 24 hrs a day from well placed automatic stations. In cities where these are particularly successful it is clear that the bikes provide a new paradigm in short distance transport that is a realistic alternative to the bus, tram, taxi or private car, but has infinite benefits to the individual and environment alike.

A short video of the Hourbike system in use in Bristol is shown below :

 



There are however other websites purely dedicated to the provision of bike sharing information with the latest news from projects around the world and far more information than can be provided here. A small selection are :

The World Public Bike Collaborative -   A partnership programme to encourage sustainable transport in cities

Bike Sharing Blog - provides information on the emerging public transportation mode of bike-sharing.

Envirobike - a new organisation (part of the Environmental Investment Organisation) dedicated to making public bike schemes commonplace.