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Monday, September 01, 2008

Fw: T.A. StreetBeat: "NYC Considers Paris Style Bike-Sharing"

About a year ago I joined NYC "Transportation Alternatives" (T.A.)--a group that promotes exactly that.  We got a nice T-shirt and the very useful NYC bike map out of the deal, and I also get their e-mail newsletter. 

I've been planning a post about Paris's Velib bike-rental system, which we sampled during our trip there in late May, and about how NYC and SF could use such systems (we did see a station of the DC system in Dupont Circle when we were there a few weeks ago).  

I'll eventually draft such a post; in the meantime, here's an entry from a recent T.A. newsletter with some encouraging news on that front:

NYC Considers Paris Style Bike-Sharing

Bike Share in Action

In Paris, Vélib and other public transportation options connect seamlessly to expand and improve the city's larger transit network

On July 9th, the NYC DOT issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to bring a bike share program to New York City. The announcement came days before the one-year anniversary of Paris' Vélib bike share program, and amidst a bike-share craze spreading through cities as far reaching as Washington D.C., Chicago, Montreal and Barcelona. What all of these urban centers have in common is the realization that public-use bicycles can help municipalities reduce auto-use and switch many trips to more efficient modes.

When implemented correctly, bike share holds enormous potential to add a low-cost, sustainable and healthy transportation option, expand the reach and flexibility of the existing public transportation system, discourage the use of single occupancy vehicles, free up space on overcrowded subways and buses and enable a network of bicycle transit in a dense urban environment, all of which go hand-in-glove with Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC.

In fact, New York City is perfect for bike share because it has a rapidly expanding on-street bike network, the density and mixed land use necessary to generate sufficient ridership and relatively flat terrain. As the City collects expressions of interest from bike share operators around the world, Transportation Alternatives, along with the newly formed NYC Bike Share Coalition, will be working hard to advocate for bike share characteristics that have best predicted success in cities around the world:

  • 1 bike per 200-400 residents
  • A dense network of stations (1 every 1000 feet or a 5-10 minute walk)
  • Connectivity to where people need to go
  • Connectivity to other modes of public transportation
  • Strong anti-theft technology
  • Strong Mayoral leadership and inter-agency cooperation in planning and implementation
Please contact if you are interested in supporting T.A.'s advocacy efforts to bring a world-class bike share to NYC. And check out the Streetfilm about Vélib, arguably the world's most successful bike share program to date.

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