Getting around by bike has recognised health benefits and, unlike driving a conventional car, does not contribute to environmental problems like air pollution and climate change. When drivers substitute their car for a bike they are also directly reducing congestion and the need for car parking spaces. Shared bike schemes are increasingly becoming an important tool for transport planners to increase the uptake of cycling and facilite door to door travel.
What is Bike Share?
Bike share can broadly be defined as any setting where cycles are pooled for use by many, such as workplace pool bikes, community bike hubs or the increasing number of peer to peer sharing apps but the statistics below refer only to self-service automated schemes.
It is five years since Transport for London launched the “Boris” bike cycle hire in London. This highly successful scheme hires 10,000 bikes from more than 700 stations across London, echoing developments in other major cities across the world.
Since then cycle hire schemes have successfully been established outside the capital including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Southampton, Nottingham, Liverpool (pictured) and Bath. Not all allow one way “bike and drop” style trips like London yet but they are all self-service pick up with prices which encourage short journeys maximising the utilisation of each bike as oppose to traditional bike hire. Many like “Bike n Go” are linked to transport interchanges and the first schemes integrated with car share clubs are emerging. As in other areas of the economy, bikes are also attracting peer to peer sharing options such as Spinlister.
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