Bike sharing is said to be experiencing “the fastest growth of any mode of transport in the history of the planet.” Whether that’s true or not, it’s hard to know. But there’s little doubt that bike sharing is growing fast, particularly in the US, and that’s encouraging for a bunch of reasons–people are getting healthier, the environment is getting cleaner and cities are becoming more bike-friendly. What’s more, the economics of bike sharing are surprisingly favorable; urban systems require modest subsidies from taxpayers and in some instances they appear to be self-supporting. Despite that, bike sharing is generating a puzzling backlash from some conservatives, which we’ll get to in a moment.
I recently signed up for Capital Bikeshare, the four-year-old bike-sharing system in Washington, D.C., My experience has turned me into an enthusiastic booster of bike sharing.If you haven’t tried bike sharing yet, and it’s offered in a city where you live, by all means, do so!
Some observations on the bike-sharing phenomenon:
The big picture: New York, of course, rolled out its bike-sharing program last month. Chicago’s program opens on June 28. [click to continue...]