Last week we wrote about Paris's wonderful bike share program, Vélib, and many of you commented that there were similar programs popping up in your own cities, and in fact, one was launched in our own city that very same day! While none of them can compete with Vélib's scale and convenience just yet, it's a pretty encouraging start:Nice Ride (Minneapolis, MN): Minneapolis is a city with 43 miles of bicycle lanes, over 80 miles of off-street paths and more bikeways on the way. Their bike share program, Nice Ride, was launched in June 2010 and claims to be the nation's largest bike sharing program. The Nice Ride system is a combination of your subscription price, plus trip fees: subscriptions are available for 24 hours ($5), 30 days ($30), 1 year ($60, or $50 for students); the first 30-minutes are free and each additional half-hour is charged in $1.50-$6 increments. Nice Ride bicycles are available 24/7 from April to November (all Nice Ride stations will be removed from the streets during the snowy winter months).
BIXI (Montréal, QC): Upon seeing the success and popularity of bike share programs in Europe, the city of Montréal decided to institute a their own system to complement existing public transportation as well as provide an alternative transportation option for residents and tourists. BIXI (BIcycle + taXI = BIXI), is a system is in service 24/7 from May until November (bikes are removed during winter months). Subscriptions are available for 24 hours ($5), 30 days ($28) and 1 year ($78); the first 30-minutes are free and each additional half-hour is charged in $1.50-$6 increments. BIXI even has a convenient iPhone app to find your nearest station and the number of bikes and bike docks available in real time (this information is also available on Google Maps).
Barclays Cycle Hire (London): Launched just last week (July 30th, 2010), Barclays Cycle Hire was developed by the BIXI system. More than 6,000 bikes and 400 docking stations will be deployed in the project's first phase, the extensions planned for the future.
SmartBike DC (Washington, DC): With successful bike share programs across Europe, SmartBike launched the US's first bike share program 2 years ago in the nation's capital, Washington DC. Subscriptions are currently unavailable while the program rebrands itself as Capital Bikeshare and expands from 100 bikes to 100 stations and 1000 bikes, with expansion expected to be completed by Fall 2010. For more information visit DDOT or Capital Bikeshare.
B-cycle (Denver & Chicago): B-cycle was recently launched in Denver and is encouraging riders accross the country to get a bikeshare system in their own city. Membership options and costs vary depending on city, but most are available in day, week, month or year increments (discounts available for students and seniors) with the first 30-60 minutes per use free. As recently as July 26, B-cycle announced the launch of a new system in Chicago — for more information visit Chicago B-cycle.
Have a bike share program in your city? Let us know in the comments!
(Image via BIXI)