Monday, February 16, 2015

The Bike-sharing World -Second Week of February 2015

North America:
   Mexico City:
The largest bike-sharing program in the Americas

For its 5th year anniversary on February 16, Ecobici in Mexico City enters its forth phase expansion with the opening of 171 new stations with an additional 2,300 bikes in the Bonito Juárez section of the City. This makes Ecobici the largest bike-share program in the Americas. Claiming 6,500 bikes in 444 stations this week, Mexico City topples the bike-share North American leaders of New York City, Montréal, and D.C.

Happy Anniversary Ecobici!

images: Ecobici: Mancera

Russell Meddin 

Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. Use this easy web address for viewing the map:  

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Arlington County Residents Can Pay With Cash for Membership & Usage Fees on Capital Bikeshare

A common complaint about bike-sharing is that one needs to have a credit or debit card in order to use the service, which is not the case with most public transit. However, unlike other modes of transit that accept cash, the customer is not given the key to the vehicle and ability to drive it away. With bike-share bikes costing upwards of $1,000, bike-share services typically require customers provide their credit or debit card upon registration so that the operator has recourse for the replacement cost of a bike in the rare event that a customer does not return their bike. The unintended consequence of this is that the unbanked – those who do not have a checking/savings account or credit/debit card – are unable to use the service. One can be unbanked due to a past history of poor credit or because they have chosen to not use these financial institutions in favor of check cashing establishments to better meet their needs. Regardless of why they are unbanked, the unbanked need access to bike-share as it’s one of the most economical modes of transport, as well as healthy for the rider and good for the environment.
Capital Bikeshare’s owner jurisdictions have encouraged the unbanked to get banked through our relationship with Bank on DC, which provides a checking account and debit card to individuals through local financial institutions. Customers also get $25 off of the annual membership price of $75. But more is needed to open Capital Bikeshare to the unbanked.
Arlington County has developed a solution for its residents to pay with cash for a bike-share membership and usage fees – likely the first of its kind in North America. Arlington will vouch for its residents, so that they don’t need to provide a credit or debit card. We will do this through our Commuter Stores, owned by Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) which has five Commuter Stores which sell transit fare passes; and provide transit, carpooling, vanpooling, biking, and walking information. Four of the Commuter Stores are "brick and mortar" shops and one is an RV (Commuter Store on wheels) with a weekly schedule. The Commuter Stores started providing walk-up Capital Bikeshare membership registrations in May 2014 where the membership fob is provided on-the-spot, so would-be customers need not wait the 5 – 7 days to receive their fob in the mail as with the standard online registration.
The Commuter Store’s accounting system allows cash to be accepted due to its transit pass sales business. Now Arlington residents can visit any Commuter Store location with a current government-issued photo ID with their Arlington address shown, such as a driver's license. Or they can show their passport, Permanent Resident Card (“green card”), or Employment Authorization Card (work permit), along with a copy of a utility bill dated within the past 60 days with their name and Arlington address. The Commuter Store representative will verify the individual’s identity and assist them in signing up for an annual membership with monthly installments ($84/year and paid as $7/month) or annual membership ($75 and paid at once).
An account can be opened with as little as $16 in cash towards the standard price of an annual membership with monthly installments. This covers the $7 per month membership fee for two months plus usage fees for trips beyond the first 30 minutes which are at no additional charge. Another option is paying $100 in cash for the annual membership cost of $75, and the remaining $25 will be used towards usage fees.
Credit reports will be sent weekly by the Commuter Stores, as will debit reports be sent weekly by the operator, Motivate (former Alta Bicycle Share), to Arlington’s Capital Bikeshare program manager. The credits and debits will require manual tabulation presently, but improvements in the bikeshare system’s back-end will allow this to be automated in the near future. When a customer's account goes below $2, the County will contact the individual to add more money to their account. At $0, their account will be closed until more money is added, with any month's missed membership fee paid for as well.
This solution should work well for Arlingtonians over the next year during this pilot. It’s a step in the right direction for Arlington and Capital Bikeshare and better addresses bike-share’s equity issues. More can and will be done to assist low-income Arlingtonians use the service by building on top of the Commuter Store’s bikeshare customer registration and now cash acceptance for payment. This solution is not a one-size-fits-all for other bike-share municipalities and operators, but hopefully this step will lead to more innovation in assisting the unbanked use bike-share services nationwide.
MetroBike serves as Arlington County's Capital Bikeshare program management consultant.
Article cross-posted on

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Bike Sharing World - 2014 -Year End Data

Lighter countries have fewer programs/bicycles, darker countries have more programs/bicycles
China has 237 programs with a total fleet of 750,500 bicycles

Russell Meddin 

Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. Use this easy web address for viewing the map:  

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - Fourth Week of December 2014


During the past few years, China has experienced days with extremely poor air quality. Many of these days had high particulate counts which are considered unhealthy for the general population. As one of the ways to reduce the level of these dangerous particulates, the government is asking cities and provinces to encourage citizens to return to bicycling for "green transportation". Cities from the largest to the smallest are encouraged to institute or enlarge bike-sharing services. During 2014, thousands and thousands of bicycles have been added to the streets in China; in this year alone, 70 new bike-sharing programs began operating throughout all of the country. I closely monitor Bike-sharing in China for The Bike-sharing World Map, a service of this blog. The data was also vetted by Professor TANG Yang of Zhejiang University and one of his Masters students, FEI Yibo. 

Some basic numbers from The Bike-sharing World Map:

There are 235 cities or districts with operating bike-sharing programs in China. They comprise approximately 747,400 bicycles in 28,000 stations.

The cities and districts with the largest programs comprising 10,000 or more bikes are:

Date Launched
Hangzhou, Zhejiang  杭州
Taiyuan, Shanxi 山西太原
Suzhou, Jiangsu 
Weifang, Shandong
Xi'an, Shaanxi  西安
Zhuzhou, Hunan 株洲
Shanghai (Minhang District)  上海
Xuzhou, Jiangsu  徐州
Beijing  (Unified Districts) 北京
Ningbo, Zhejiang,  宁波
Taizhou City (Jiaojiang District) Zhejiang
Wuhu, Anhui 
Foshan Chancheng, Guangdong  佛山-禅城
Zhongshan, Guangdong  中山
Qingzhou, Weifang, Shandong, 潍坊青
Changshu, Suzhou, Jiangsu 常熟
Huizhou, Guangdong 广东惠
Kunshan,Suzhou, Jiangsu,  昆明
Ninghai. Zhejiang  宁海
Yangzhou, Jiangsu 
Yiwu, Jinhua, Zhejiang  义乌

Conspicuously missing from this list is the City of Wuhan in the Hubai Province. Over the last few years, Wuhan had purportedly claimed the largest bike-share program in the world. Reports of close to 100,000 bikes in the program were widely circulated on the Internet.

In April of this year the city government closed down the program, which began in 2009, because of mismanagement and non-fulfillment of service according to China Hubei News and Most stations had no bikes and the bikes that could be found were not fit to be ridden. The Wuhan Public Bus Company was to take over the program with the intent of starting anew, but it has now backed out. The Wuhan City government is considering other options to bring back bike-share.
Desolate abandoned bike-share station in Wuhan, December 2014
In China, most programs throughout the country use a value-added RFID card to access the systems. Generally, the card must be acquired in person with proof of residency or foreign passport. The cards range in price, but most cities charge a refundable ¥200 RMB ($32 US) deposit and require an additional loaded amount on the card of ¥100 RMB ($16 US). The loaded amount is used to offset the overage charges, generally ¥1 RMB ($0.16 US) per hour, incurred over the one or two hours of initial use commonly given at no extra charge.

Below is a full list of Chinese operating programs in both cities and districts arranged in alphabetical order:
Public Bicycles Programs In Operation in China 20141220
 Public Bicycle Programs In Operation in China December 2014
To view the entire list in large format see, Public Bicycle Programs In Operation in China December 2014


In Barcelona, morning brings electric or more precisely, BiCiNg elèctric! Last week 150 pedelecs, electric-assist bicycles, were added to the venerable Bicing fleet. The pedelecs have their own special battery recharging docking stations, 5 are on the street and 18 are positioned in parking garages. In January 2015, BiCiNg elèctric will double in size to 300 pedelecs in 46 stations.

The new pedelecs cannot be commingled with the 5,300 regular bicings in the 395 stations currently in operation in Barcelona. Not only do they need the electric charge, but they also have a separate membership charge. The annual fee will cost €14 ($17 US). It can be purchased separately or as a supplement to the regular bicing membership. A usage fee of €0.45 for the first 30 minutes begins when the bike is taken out. Each additional 30 minutes, to a maximum of 2 hours, cost €0.80.

With BicMAD in Madrid and now BiCiNg elèctric in Barcelona, Spain's bike-sharing is moving into an electric 21st century!

Barclays Cycle Hire is tweaking its rates for 2015. TfL, Transport for London, will introduce new "simplified" pricing next month where all overage charges will be £2 ($3.10 US) per 30 minutes. There will no longer be escalating charges for additional half hours. All additional half hours will be the same price.

Three new Irish cities joined Dublin with bike-sharing this month: Cork, Galway and Limerick ( All share the same the same sponsor as Dublin, Coca-Cola Zero.
Bike-sharing is getting sweet on the Emerald Isle, but with no added sugar!

images: China: The Bike-sharing Blog, Wuhan:  Barcelona: Bici-vici, ecomovilidadbicing

Russell Meddin 

Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. Use this easy web address for viewing the map:  

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap