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New Bike-share Programs

Bike-share programs are on the rise. Located in only a handful of European cities five years ago, bike-share stations are now a recognizable feature in many urban landscapes.

Spurred by the success of bike-sharing in Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., almost every major city in the United States and dozens outside of North America are looking into programs.

A few weeks ago, I conducted some detailed research to find the most accurate counts for bikes, stations, and when programs were launched. For now, I looked at only programs with more than 10 stations and more than 100 bikes, so this usually excluded pilot programs, university-based programs, and the smaller programs common in many small European cities. Only the modern, more technologically advanced systems were included. A 2010 study that included many of the smaller programs I did not found there to be more than 375 bike-share programs (Midgley, 2010). The number of programs has likely grown since then.

The 145 programs I looked at operate more than 240,000 public bicycles and 14,000 docking stations. The largest is located in Hangzhou, China, operating more than 60,000 bikes.