The Seattle Times reports that an increasing number of Americans are opting to use bicycles for transportation. In order to meet these demands for greener conveyance many cities, including Des Moines, have adopted bike-sharing programs. These programs allow members to rent bikes around the city for a range of time typically between an hour and an entire day. Almost all of the cities using bike-sharing are thrilled by its success:
At a news conference in May, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sounded enthusiastic about his city’s initiative: “Every city I’ve talked to mayors in around the world, it’s one of the most popular things they’ve ever done. I would expect it to be popular here.”
Minneapolis started a program last June called Nice Ride, which now has 700 bikes and more than 70 stations and has logged more than 100,000 trips in its first year of operation. It recently expanded into Minneapolis’ twin city of St. Paul.
Bill Dossett, the program’s executive director, said Nice Ride had been a huge success in part because “40 percent of the trips people take in a city are under 3 miles, and the bike is the best tool for that.
“The basic idea of it is a great one, and the technology advances that have happened in the last five years have just made it so much easier and possible to secure the bikes and keep them more maintained.”
Dossett said he got at least five calls a week from officials in other cities seeking advice on how to get their own bike-sharing programs rolling. Continue reading