The road towards a green revolution is finally gaining momentum as several cities in North America have finally embraced bike sharing. The idea of bike sharing involves a person taking out a bicycle from a regulated stand and putting it back in another such stand close to where the individual is going. Bike sharing can either be charged or complementary and fits perfectly as a means of travel between two close points.
This scheme is all thanks to the example provided by Paris’ Velib. Parisians are now just reaping the benefits of this healthier and cleaner form of transportation. If you are interested to find out more about bike-sharing programs near your location, kindly check the list below:
The bike program in Minneapolis is currently the biggest in the country with a thousand units spread out in 80 stands in the city. The program is called Nice Ride and the bikes have been manufactured by Bixi system from Montreal, Canada. The bikes are fielded in downtown and around the Twin Cities campus of University of Minnesota. Interested users will be glad to know that the first 30 minutes on the bike are complementary. Should you need the bike for a full day, you can pay 5 dollars or pay 60 bucks to get access to the bikes for an entire year.
One of the fastest bike-sharing programs, B-Cycle currently has 500 units in 50 different places. Pricing schemes for bike use in Denver are 5$ for one day use, 30$ for a month, 20$ for a week and 65$ for whole year. Much like the scheme in Minneapolis, B-Cycle use under 30 minutes are free of charge. Customers just need to return the bikes to a nearby B-station. Most of the B-stations are concentrated in the downtown area while a few service the train stations and Denver University.
Travelers who want to experience the breath taking beauty of the Grand Canyon on a bike but who were unable to bring their own can rent one off Bright Angel Bicycles. They have different price ranges depending on any additional services you want with your bike. Standalone bikes have rates which start at 10$ per hour and then progress to $25 for four hours, 35$ for a whole day and a special rate of 30$ for multi-day use. For children who cannot use bikes yet, trailers can be mounted along with the bikes. Charges for the use of trailers are usually from 5$ to 7$. Three wheeled bikes are also available for people who are differently-abled. All the paved roads allow the use of bikes on them however in case of traffic congestion, bikers are advised to take the scenic Hermit’s Rest road.
Students taking up classes in the University of California have another means of being punctual for their classes. Bike-sharing provider ZotWheels currently has four bike terminals located around the university. These stations can be found strategically in the Science Library, Physical Sciences, the Student Center, and the Langson Library. ZotWheels currently only provides services to students as registration for the service requires a University of California Intranet ID. Students are entitled to use the bikes once they pay a modest fee of 40$ for a whole year’s subscription.
Mexico City’s own bike-sharing program Ecobici required such a great popularity boost that the city government rebuked one of their ordinances fining citizens caught cycling without a helmet. Despite the safety concerns, they want to quickly establish the program and immediately enjoy the environmental and social benefits of biking. Ecobici has a fleet of 1,100 bikes waiting at 82 different stand locations. Mexicans need only to pay $23 to gain access to the bikes for the duration of an entire year. Their pricing scheme comes with a free 30 minutes use of the bike with increments of 80 cents the next and $2.70 in the next. An additional 6,000 Ecobici bikes will be invading the streets of Mexico City soon.
The wheels of the fleet of Decobikes are not yet rolling around the streets of Miami but the company is already creating a lot of buzz in Miami City. The bike sharing provider plans to put up many terminals in different points in Miami Beach. According to Decobikes’ website, the company is prepping up Decostations in 100 spots. Each of these stations will operate around 300 meters away from each other. Miami residents needing a bike will find a Decostation within three blocks of each other. Interested parties can now enroll for the service by paying 15$ for a whole month’s use of a decobike. The program activates by August 2010.
The city of Montreal takes pride in its model bike-sharing program called Bixi. Bixi is an epigram of the words Bike and Taxi. Bixi currently has a fleet of 3,000 units for use by citizens. They have widespread access to the bikes through a system of 300 stations located all over the city of Montreal. The bikes themselves have been designed out of clean sheets of metal. The system that regulates the use of the bike is solar powered and transmits information through wireless signals. People from Montreal can have use of the bikes by paying $75 for unlimited membership or pay in lower increments by day or by 30 minutes.
Much like the Bixi system, Momentum B-Cycles are likewise powered by solar energy. The stations themselves have solar power hook ups that allow them to operate without tapping into the community’s energy grid. The use of their bikes is free for the first thirty minute and 2$ for the next. Additional 30 minutes of top of those two will be charged with 5$ each.
This is another city making use of the Bixi bike-sharing model. However, this particular locale’s incarnation of the program is only available for Washington State University students. However, unlike the ZotWheels program, outsiders may gain use of the bikes provided that some of the units are not being used.
The Capitol’s bike sharing solution is named Smartbike. Smartbike came into being through the partnership of the Washington’s Department of Transportation and Clear Channel. The current size of Smartbike’s fleet is 1,100. These bikes are waiting in over 100 stations located in the downtown area of Washington D.C. And the neighborhood of Arlinton, Virginia. People who want to use these bikes for an entire year need only pay $40.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)