||01-27-12 07:40 PM
Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf
CALGARY – Different cycling advocacy groups gave aldermen opposing views on how aggressively to pursue a bike sharing system Wednesday as aldermen voted to find a costing plan to launch the program as early as mid-2014.
Cities throughout North America have dotted their downtown with bike rental stations, which rely mostly on user fees and corporate sponsorships to operate.
Whether bike share programs make sense or not depend entirely on how they are implemented. The Velib system in Paris is absolutely wonderful. Bikes and pickup/dropoff stations are plentiful and are located in places where you actually might need to pick up a bike: restaurant districts, near museums, shopping, etc. Most of all, it is cheap. A day pass for the Velib system costs a euro.
Contrast with the bike share system in Chicago, which has a handful of pickup/dropoff stations, almost all of them on the lakefront in the short span between Navy Pier and the Field Museum, distant from restaurants, shopping, or much of anything else. Worse still, the cost to rent a bike is $10 an hour
, far more expensive than it would be to take the bus or the subway to where you want to go. Completely pointless.
I suspect no bike share system would be viable on user fees and corporate sponshorship alone, but would require government subsidy. Too bad that's a dirty word in the U.S.