The Benefits of Bike Sharing
A bike share program consists of making bicycles and/or electric bicycles available to the inhabitants of a city, so that they can rent a bike for short or longer distances. In particular, shared bikes are used to go to work, the gym, to school, to meet friends, etc. Thus, many stations are strategically distributed throughout the city, i.e. close to the most frequented public places, allowing people to easily and affordably rent and return the bikes from one mobility hub to another. Grabbing a bike from one station and dropping it off at another is as easy as unlocking it with your phone, riding, and simply docking it at a station near your destination. Most bicycle sharing programs are accessible through their own mobile applications.
Cycling has benefits for your own health. As we know, cycling is physical exercise. Cycling for 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, stress, and other diseases. Riding a power assist electric bike is also a way to exercise. City transportation officials must continue to work with bike share companies to accelerate cycling culture and the use of shared micromobility systems above the personal car. After all, bike share’s advantages make it an incredible long-term investment when it comes to modernizing your city’s urban mobility.
How Does Bike Share Work?
In order to use a bike share service, users can choose to purchase a subscription and simply grab a bike whenever they need or they can choose to pay at each ride. Although city bike schemes have a cost, they remain a very affordable solution compared to other means of urban transport. When compared, the cost of a bike sharing membership is generally lower than a public transport subscription, and also much cheaper than the purchase and maintenance of a car. In many cities, such as with Montreal’s BIXI bike share program, you can actually use your public transit card to also rent bikes at stations. Using a bike share program offers a few other advantages in terms of cost and safety. The operator takes care of the maintenance and repair of the bikes so you don't have to worry about the bike itself. All you need to focus on is riding.
Bike-sharing is above all eco-friendly, as we already know. Riding a bike once a week for a whole year instead of using a car saves half a ton of CO2, the equivalent of a plane trip from New York to London. Using a bicycle means less air pollution. It also means less noise pollution because the bicycle is less noisy than motor vehicles, which makes the quality of life better in the city. Another advantage that improves the quality of life of urban residents is the reduction of traffic congestion in the city. Bike-sharing is an ideal solution for local urban travel. It is considered the most efficient mode of travel for trips less than 5km. 40% of daily trips made by car are less than 3km long. This is simply not sustainable, especially considering that distance can be made more quickly by bicycle than by car during traffic hours, including parking. There remains a major challenge in the market, that of developing the culture of cycling, particularly in cities and for the shortest journeys. We need to look at the example of cities that have taken the initiative, such as Barcelona, London, Toronto and so many others.
Who Is A Bike Share For?
Bike share is for residents and visitors alike! In cities all over the world bike share is used for commuting to work and school, running errands, riding with friends, riding to a transit stop, and generally getting around. For tourists, bike share makes it easy to explore the hidden corners of a city where transit doesn’t go; plus the bikes are available 24 hours a day, not just during business hours. By providing a viable alternative for short trips, bike share systems help to alleviate pressure on our roads. They replace car trips, reduce traffic, free up parking spaces and ease the burden on the transit system for short trips. And these benefits grow over time, as bike share programs have the ability to draw non-cyclists into the world of short-distance urban cycling, and each new cyclist represents additional savings to our road and transit budgets.
Bike-Share For Everyone
Bike sharing is an affordable and healthy system, both for the planet and for the users. It is a practical solution for people who do not have their own vehicle. Moreover, we now know that cycling is a way to have fun while enjoying a breath of fresh air, to get around more quickly and avoid the stress of traffic jams, to do something for the planet, and to improve your physical condition. All of which is enough to encourage more than one person to adopt a bicycle. Opting for a fleet of self-service bicycles means becoming a more organized and intelligent city, but also offering people an alternative so that they can also have a say in their own carbon footprint. Many cities around the world have already opted for the implementation of bike-sharing systems. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes the leading mode of urban transportation.