Seven cities can boast of world-class bike-share systems, according to a new publication by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) that identifies the best practices embraced by these cities. An estimated 400 cities on five continents have implemented bike share, according to ITDP, because it addresses pressing urban mobility issues that include traffic, air pollution, transit finance, and the “last mile” problem of getting commuters to and from rail and bus stops.
“Very few transport innovations have spread as quickly as bike share,” said Walter Hook, ITDP’s CEO. “The vast majority of bike-share systems have all been implemented in the last 10 years. As world-class cities increasingly strive to remain competitive, we wouldn't be surprised to see continued exponential growth in the next 10. Of course, some cities have done better than others, and The Bike Share Planning Guide presents best practices and case studies of successful systems that is essential reading for anyone planning a bike-share system anywhere in the world.”
The new publication, The Bike Share Planning Guide, highlights two metrics for determining whether a bike-share system is efficient, reliable and cost-effective — the average number of daily uses for each public bicycle and the average daily trips per resident within the coverage area. Seven cities hit the mark with both high market penetration and high infrastructure usage:
- Barcelona, which averages 10.8 trips per bike and 67.9 trips per 1,000 residents;
- Lyon, which averages 8.3 trips per bike and 55.1 trips per 1,000 residents;
- Mexico City, which averages 5.5 trips per bike and 158.2 trips per 1,000 residents;
- Montreal, which averages 6.8 trips per bike and 113.8 trips per 1,000 residents;
- New York City, which averages 8.3 trips per bike and 42.7 trips per 1,000 residents;
- Paris, which averages 6.7 trips per bike and 38.4 trips per 1,000 residents;
- Rio de Janeiro, which averages 6.9 trips per bike and 44.2 trips per 1,000 residents.
“Some of the most cosmopolitan cities around the world have implemented bike-share systems that not only serve as a preferable transit option, but also help extend the brand of the cities themselves,” said Colin Hughes, ITDP’s director of national policy and project evaluation. “It’s no longer true that a huge investment in a big new bridge or highway brings the most growth to a city — it is often smaller, more strategic investments in quality of life and sustainability that makes a city a desirable place to live and work.”
“Many cities are dealing with crisis situations due to congestion, pollution, and health related to vehicle traffic,” Hughes continued. “These cities want solutions. A great bike-share system indicates that the city is thinking progressively about transit, the environment, and quality of life.”
The report identifies five elements of a bike share system that are critical for driving up the key metrics used to rate bike-share systems. These elements include: