Creative Transportation – Bike Sharing

We like bikes around here. That’s because bike riding is one of the cleanest modes of transportation available—not to mention healthy and pretty fun, too. But what if you don’t own a bike? Meet bike sharing.

Cities all over the world have bike sharing programs in place to make bikes available to people who don’t own them.

Here’s the general idea: bike stations are placed around a community. Bike sharing members can pick them up, use them and return them to any station. Just like renting a movie.

Bike sharing programs have become popular—and successful—all over the world. Barcelona’s Bicing bike share program reportedly cut the country’s CO2 emissions down 9,000 metric tons last year! Wuhan, China currently has the largest bike sharing program in the world, with about 60,000 available bikes, with bikes cropping up about every 100 meters!

In the U.S., Boston’s bike share program has gone environmentally above and beyond with solar powered bike stations. Here in Georgia, Georgia Tech has started the ViaCycle bike sharing program, which has already gathered over 100 users. It’s currently only available to Georgia Tech students and faculty, but plans are being shopped around for a city-wide program.

Another national bike sharing service here in the States is Bcycle. Bcycle sets up available bikes at several “B-stations” around the towns where they operate, making it easy to join up and grab a bike when you need one.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any Bcycle sites here in Georgia…yet. But Bcycle is always accepting nominations for new towns in the “Who Wants it More?” section of their site. Click here to nominate your town today!

Check out this bike sharing world map to see just how many bike sharing systems there are all over the world! This map shows operational systems as well as systems in planning or construction.

Think bike sharing won’t work for your community? It may be easier than you think. Get to know your biking peers, and start talking about how to make your town more bike-friendly. Also, check out this link for helpful ideas and articles about community bike programs: iBike encouragement

So, what do you think of bike sharing? Tell us in the comments section below! And, don’t forget to log your bike riding in the AirCreds tool for points and prizes!