Bike sharing, once a quaint activity for le French, is now officially mainstream in the US. With the San Francisco Bay Area deploying 700 bikes on August 29th for its Bike Share pilot program launch, the US now has 34 large-scale bike share programs, with a combined fleet of over 18,000 bikes on the road.
"Transportation is the single biggest contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gases in the Bay Area," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "Bike share empowers the public to get out of their cars, take transit and reduce transportation impacts on our region." The Bay Area Bike Share will deploy 300 more bikes and 30 more kiosks come 2014, totaling 1000 bikes and 100 stations. New York takes the lead with 6,000 bikes, and Chicago has 1,500 bikes gracing its waterways. Check out these great articles from Grist and PR Newswire for the full story.
Despite woefully absent bike share programs in Southern California, cities across SoCal including Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego, all have plans in the works. Some of these programs are set to launch as early as 2014, and on September 24th the City of Santa Monica is set to vote on its bike share program details. Many of these programs are designed to connect to current, or planned, public transit stops, creating a “first/last mile connection” for those using mass transit to get to their job or home.
Global Green has been working with several Southern California cities to help design and launch these systems. We’re pushing for interconnected bike share systems that can connect across multiple cities and create a truly regional system. Our vision is a system that connects with other forms of public transit through a single payment card for convenience, and one that will appeal to the diverse population that makes up Southern California. We’ll keep you posted on how Global Green is helping to make a once provincial dream become a reality.