There are so many existing bike share programs in the world that determining the “best” programs seems more a matter of personal preference than anything else. The most recognized bike-share program probably belongs to Paris, France (Vélib), which has been around since 2007 and includes over 20,000 bikes and 1,800 bike stations scattered every 300 meters throughout the city. The largest program is in Hangzhou, China, which has more than 50,000 bicycles for use.
Factors to consider when rating a bike share program might include:
You can view a comprehensive map of the world’s bike share programs here.
Boston and NYC also have bike-share programs as well. New York just recently announced the unveiling of 10,000 new bikes that will be part of the Alta Bike Share program. Consumers will be charged $100/year and the first 30 minutes of any rental will be free. After that members will have to pay rental fees to keep the bikes for longer.
In Boston, New Balance and Hubway just launched (July 2011!) a new bike-share program with 600 new bikes and 61 stations across the city. Members will pay $85/year, $12 for 3 days or $5 for 1 day and 30 minute or less rides are free with charges incurring on the 31st minutes. The program does shut down in the winter (pesky snow!) and riders are expected to wear helmets.
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