I have written about New York City’s planned bike-sharing program a couple times here on EcoLocalizer, and have written about bike-sharing programs in Paris, China, Barcelona, London (a couple times), Chicago, D.C. (sister site Ecopreneurist has as well — linking to that piece), Boston, and my current city of Wroclaw (twice). I’m a fan. But I’ve got one problem with many attempts at bike-sharing — the programs start too small. Well, NYC is not disappointing me. It’s starting with 10,000 bikes at 600 stations, comparable to Paris (probably the most successful and certainly the biggest program in the world, which started with 10,000 bikes at 750 stations).
There was indication even last year that NYC’s program was going to be big (first link above), but I was still hesitant to jump for joy, waiting for some more official news and progress — I know how these things can get killed. The news has come. More from Streetsblog:
New York City has selected Alta Bike Share to run its public bike-share system, under an arrangement that promises to make bicycling an integral new transit option for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The Public Bike System Company, which supplies systems in London, Washington, Boston, and Montreal, will produce the bikes and kiosks.
The winning bid features the hallmarks of the world’s best bike-share systems — there will be many bikes and many stations, spaced closely together so that any kiosk is a short walk from the user’s destination.
…some key factoids:
- Within the service area, which will stretch from the Upper West Side and Upper East Side to Bed Stuy and Greenpoint, New Yorkers will have access to 10,000 public bikes at about 600 stations.
- Annual memberships will cost under $100. Members will be able to make trips of up to 30 minutes at no charge.
- The stations will be sited with input from local communities, and the City Council will hold hearings on the program.
- The system must operate without public subsidy.
Score! Congrats NYC! If installations in Paris and Barcelona and other cities are any indication, this will be a hit immediately and will (slightly) transform New York City for the better.