bikeshare

Station Location

Credit: New York Times New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has been working for years to bring a bicycle share program to the city.  Two weeks ago, they announced they had chosen Alta Bicycle Share (of Boston’s Hubway and Washington, DC’s Capital Bike Share, among others) to implement the system in NYC.

While Alta announced that they would be placing stations in Manhattan south of 79th Street and in some parts of Brooklyn, the DOT is also moving forward with a campaign to gather station location suggestions from the citizens at large. As you may be able to see from the map, stations suggestions are pretty much evenly distributed throughout Manhattan and most of Brooklyn, and even some as far away as JFK airport.

What this means to me is that this citizen engagement request may not be effective for station location, which has been done previously with fairly technical analyses, but that it could be effective at raising citizens awareness of the new program, building momentum and expectation before the launch.  Ultimately, this may be a better determinant of its success that particular station locations anyway.

­- Terra Curtis

 

Portland, Oregon to join bike share movement

On the heels of the launch of Hubway, Boston’s bike share program, it appears Portland will be getting one its own.  Last week, the City Council approved in a 4-1 vote and $9 million dollar spending package, which includes $2 million for a bicycle share system. To date, Boston, Washington DC, and Minneapolis are the only major US cities to implement bike sharing systems.  San Francisco is scheduled to join the bunch in spring 2012 and New York City is narrowing down its set of proposals with expected launch in the same timeframe.

Portland Bureau of Transportation notes that bike sharing has progressed through three generations:

  • 1st generation: no-tech, unstructured approach found in Amsterdam in the 1960s.
  • 2nd generation: low-tech, moderate expense like City Bike in Copenhagen and Helsinki
  • 3rd generation: high-tech and more expensive ($500 - $5500 per bike), including use of Smart Card technology.  Allow tracking of bikes.

Portland’s system would likely be of the 3rd generation type.  Guangzhou and Hangzhou’s systems  and Barcelona’s Bicing are of this type as well.  Barcelona recently published a study indicating the safety aspects of its system – it claims 12+ lives a year are being saved as a result of the program.

-          Terra Curtis

 

Portland, Oregon to join bike share movement

On the heels of the launch of Hubway, Boston’s bike share program, it appears Portland will be getting one its own.  Last week, the City Council approved in a 4-1 vote and $9 million dollar spending package, which includes $2 million for a bicycle share system. To date, Boston, Washington DC, and Minneapolis are the only major US cities to implement bike sharing systems.  San Francisco is scheduled to join the bunch in spring 2012 and New York City is narrowing down its set of proposals with expected launch in the same timeframe.

Portland Bureau of Transportation notes that bike sharing has progressed through three generations:

  • 1st generation: no-tech, unstructured approach found in Amsterdam in the 1960s.
  • 2nd generation: low-tech, moderate expense like City Bike in Copenhagen and Helsinki
  • 3rd generation: high-tech and more expensive ($500 - $5500 per bike), including use of Smart Card technology.  Allow tracking of bikes.

Portland’s system would likely be of the 3rd generation type.  Guangzhou and Hangzhou’s systems  and Barcelona’s Bicing are of this type as well.  Barcelona recently published a study indicating the safety aspects of its system – it claims 12+ lives a year are being saved as a result of the program.

-          Terra Curtis

 

Sharing Catching On?

This weekend, not once but twice did I see RelayRides vehicles in action.  I mentioned RelayRides back in February after returning from the annual Transportation Research Board Conference in Washington, DC, where I overheard friendly banter between their Founder and some representatives of the federal Department of Transportation about the need for better carsharing incentives.  After initial success in Boston, the neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing service set out to conquer San Francisco, and now I’ve seen their users conquering the streets of the city as well as those of nature-preserved Marin County. I also recently received a newsletter from Avego, a real-time ridesharing service based in Seattle.  They’ve worked to create a critical mass of riders and drivers to facilitate real-time ridesharing to and from the Microsoft campus outside Seattle with their go520 project.  How are they getting it?  By offering a guaranteed ride in addition to rides arranged on the fly.  This will encourage skeptics to try it out, and the hope is that they’ll be satisfied and establish the needed critical mass for the system to run smoothly on its own.  They’re well on their way; over 1,000 participants have already signed up.

Lastly, I wanted to mention the launch of Boston’s bikeshare system, Hubway.  On July 28th, the system launched with 60 stations and already more than 700 people signed up for an annual membership.  Boston currently has about 35 miles of bike lanes, most of which have been built under Mayor Menino’s vision for a more bicycle-friendly city.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaTfsTdPsEs&w=439&h=250]

- Terra Curtis