Tag: bike share

A quick primer on “smart dock” vs “smart lock” bike share systems

Bike share finally came to Portland, Oregon this week, and the system has already proven to be popular. At this point, bike share in the US is no longer a novelty, as successful systems are integrated into the day-to-day life of dozens of major cities.

However, not all bike share is created the same, and Portland’s new system has the distinction of being the largest “smart-bike” system in the country. This is in contrast to most large systems which rely on “smart docks” instead. Click to read more!

New Citibike owners stumble on day one with price hike lie

It’s
a new day for the Alta Bicycle Share company, under new ownership, and new management. Sadly,
it seems like the new boss is a lot like the old boss when it comes to making
promises and then not following through with them. Alta became quite well known
for never delivering on their promises, and on day 1, the new Alt, now owned by
Related Companies and Equinox, has kept up the tradition.

For months now, there have been rumors that Citibike, Alta’s flagship system,
would see a price hike for annual memberships under the new ownership. The
official announcement yesterday confirmed the hike, but included a disclaimer.
On the official announcement and in the email they sent to all existing subscribers last night: Click to read more!

Mexico’s Ecobici Bike Share Expanding Again, and Opening to Tourists

Another year, another major expansion for Mexico City’s 4-year old Ecobici bike share system.

The latest expansion will see an investment of 150 million pesos – or 11 million USD – to expand into 14 new square kilometers (5.5sq.mi) using 171 new stations, and 2,600 new bikes. Of those new stations, 12 will be added in areas that currently have service, to meet high demand. 

To put that number in perspective, the system currently has 275 stations. With the expansion, the system will become the largest in the Americas, beating out New York’s Citibike which has 330 stations. The system would still be smaller than the ones in Paris and London, as well as various enormous systems in China. Click to read more!

Mexico City’s Ecobici nears 100,000 subscribers

When it comes to the world of bike-share, New York’s Citibike may continue to get the headlines, but it’s actually Mexico City’s Ecobici that has the most users in the Americas. Last week, they proudly released stats about ridership, and the numbers are impressive, especially for a city that isn’t exactly known for cycling (or safe streets). 

According to El Universal, Ecobici has reached 95,780 annual members. Of those, 40,500 have been added since December. That compares with NYC being just shy of 80,000, since launching in May. When the Ecobici program completed their 3rd expansion last year, the goal was 75,000 users.Looks like it’s time for more stations. Click to read more!

Citibike hits major snags – will it delay Chicago and SF launches?

It’s been over a week since the nation’s largest bike-share system launched in New York City. That launch was accompanied by a very predictable stream of media – naysayers, doubters, and then the tabloids looking for trouble.

I predicted as much over a year ago when the system details were announced:

With bike share, New York has been following the exact same media
pattern we saw in Boston in 2009-2011. Boston, naturally, was mirrored
in London during the same period. Both of course were simple repeats of
what happened in Washington a year earlier.
Click to read more!

Destroy pedestrian mall so drivers can cruise?

This week was home to the annual “State of Downtown” breakfast, once again held in the Pacific Southwest Building’s ballroom, which anchors the Fulton Mall. Naturally, as has been the case the past few years, talk centered on what to do with the mall.

The mayor has been pushing for years to rip the whole thing up and turn it into yet another two way street with parking – ie, every other road in the city. She’s asking the feds for millions of dollars to get the bulldozers going, claiming that it will start revitalization downtown, even though she ignores that every other street is open to cars, and not one is doing economically better than Fulton. Click to read more!

Boston’s Hubway bike system finally nears 100 stations

The Boston area bicycle share system, officially called “New Balance Hubway”, faced a rocky start as it saw multiple delays and many missed expectations. Fortunately, the system is finally getting its act together and has been marching towards adding its 100th station. This summer, the system began expanding into neighboring cities, and new stations are being added every week.

2011: 57 stations
Spring 2012: 61 stations
End Summer 2012 (current): 95 stations

An additional batch of stations is expected this month, taking the system over 100. While it may not have the expansion goals of Mexico City, the system is finally covering a respectable geographic area. Click to read more!

Mexico City bike share getting large expansion

Mexico City launched a bike share system (Ecobici) in early 2010 with 70 stations and over a thousand bikes. After seeing a very small expansion in 2011 (15 stations), the system will finally receive a Phase 2, which is to be installed this month.

The numbers:

Stations: From 90 to 275
Bikes: From 1,000 to 4,000
Annual Subscribers: From 30,000 to 73,000

This will make the system the 7th largest in the world.

The system is the ClearChannel kind, which is popular in Europe. Unlike the B-Cycle and Bixi systems found in other North American systems, the ClearChannel stations do require installation, so the roll-out is a bit slower. Instead of simply being dumped off a truck, these stations require some digging and electrical work. That means installation of Phase 2 will take all of September. Click to read more!

In internet age, ideas still travel slowly

We’re all very familiar with the idea that if a volcano blows in Indonesia, a plane crashes in Paraguay or a riot breaks out in Helsinki, news of the event will reach every corner of the globe in a couple of hours. The world is of course connected and news can travel quickly.

Theoretically, ideas can travel as quickly as news, and yet it seems that it isn’t the case. Indeed, new ideas, which may be fantastic, well-proven concepts, can take years to be spread and accepted.

When it comes to adopting proven best-practices, that’s a huge roadblock. Click to read more!

Comparing bike share system popularity on Facebook

Since blowing up in Paris in 2007, bicycle share systems have made their way to every continent, with more coming online each month.

These systems vary greatly in number of bikes, stations, subsrcibers and geographic area covered. But how do they compare in terms of Facebook popularity? Facebook is one of many ways these companies have of reaching their riders, and sending out critical information, like locations of new stations, removal of existing ones, changes in policy and so forth. Are the riders taking their interest in the system online? Click to read more!