Hangzhou, China with a bike fleet of 50,000. The city’s population is about 7 million. There are over 2,000 bike stations all spaced within 1000 feet from each other. Sounds pretty impressive, although the increase of cars in major cities in China is making it difficult and dangerous for people to bike or walk.
Montreal has the largest bike sharing system in North America with 5000 bikes, and Washington DC’s system is the largest in the United States with 1200.
The largest bike sharing system is located in Paris, France. The Velib bike sharing system has about 20,000 bikes and have logged 80 million trips in a three year time-span. Other large systems include Bicing in Barcelona, Spain (6,000 bikes) and Velo’v in Lyons, France. Dublin, Ireland is host to a system that features less bikes (450) yet they hold the highest utilization rate at 10 trips per bike per day. In North America the top bike sharing systems are Montreal’s Bixi (5,000 bikes) and the newly created Washington DC’s Capital Bike Share (1,000 bikes).
As an avid bicyclist, I find bike share programs somewhat ludicrous. In Davis, CA, the bicycling capitol of America, there is no bike share program because everyone has their own bicycle (or five). Bicycles, unlike cars, are much more efficient when properly fitted to the rider. I can speak from experience on this. My bicycles are perfectly adjusted for me, and I find them much easier to ride than my friends’ bicycles. With bike share programs, people miss out on knowing how great it feels to have a bike that fits.
I fully support car share programs, though. Car share programs make it more practical for more people to use bicycling as their primary mode of transportation and only use the car when absolutely necessary. Davis has a small car share program for those rare occasions when a person needs a car.
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