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Bike sharing programs are a growing global phenomenon as more commuters are choosing to leave their cars parked in their driveway in exchange for human-powered vehicles with decreased environmental impact. But there are a few challenges with taking your own bike from home, most predominantly parking. Some innovative bike-sharing programs have popped up around the world that address these issues and provide convenience for bicycle commuters.
Bixi brought the first European-style bike-sharing program to North America. In spring of 2009, it began placing bike stations around the city of Montreal and added 3000 auto-pedaling bicycles to its fleet, which members could use for a monthly fee. What’s unique about this system is that it’s managed by the city, and not an external system
Quite similar to the program offered by Bixi in Canada, Velib offers bike sharing through one of the largest programs in Europe with more than 750 pickup and drop-off points for bike commuters. Bikes are also available for rent by the hour, but unlike Bixi, this is an independently run business not associated with the cities where it operates.
Washington introduced the first U.S.-based bike-share program in the country back in the spring of 2009. It offers a similar structure to the above, and it’s one that many cities have voiced interest in adopting.
Perhaps the most innovative bike program is not for bike sharing. Since parking and the need to shower are two issues that bike commuters often face, Bike Park offers both. Bikers who have a membership or pay per use have access to a locker, bicycle parking and shower and changing facilities.
(Image Courtesty Bixi)
Also Read: YikeBike: E-bicycle of the future