Friday, November 21, 2014

Public Bike sharing in North America During a Period of Rapid Expansion

Public bike sharing systems offer accessible shared bicycles for first-and-last mile trips connecting to other modes, as well as for both short and long distance destinations in an urban environment. Access to the bicycles is gained through membership in a bike sharing organization. While the majority of North American bike sharing operators charge for use (membership and use-based fees), some community-based bike sharing organizations do not. This report highlights Information Technology (IT)-based bike sharing activities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Bike sharing systems typically permit both one-way trips and round-trips with bikes available on-demand (no reservation) via a network of docking stations for retrieving and parking bicycles. Thus, bike sharing can facilitate connections to and from public transit and provide a means to make local trips within the bike sharing network. IT-based bike sharing has grown rapidly in North America over the past five years.  Read on here.

Why don't the poor use bike share systems?

Bicycle sharing systems have been spreading like wildfire over the past few years, with new initiatives in New York and Chicago bringing the idea to America's biggest cities. But even the oldest such systems aren't very old, so we're still learning a lot about how they work. One striking finding of a major new report from the Mineta Institute at San Jose State University is that bike shares cater disproportionately to the rich. At least they do in the four major established systems in the US and Canada that the report examined. For each city, this table shows two different populations. In the left column, you get the share of the city's total population that belongs to each income bracket. In the right column, you get the share of the city's total bike share membership that belongs to each income bracket. In all four cities, you see that low income cohorts are a lower share of the bikeshare population than they are of the total population. In the high income cohorts it's the opposite. 17 percent of Salt Lake City bike share members earn over $150,000 a year, even though such well-to-do individuals are only 8 percent of the city's total population. Read on here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Investment in cycling can bring very strong returns to society.

new statistical report from the Department for Transport in the UK shows that investing in cycling brings huge economic, social and health benefits, with some cycling schemes having a benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) of up to 35 to 1. The newly-funded cycling schemes have BCRs of 5.5:1 – the Department for Transport said this means that "for every £1 of public money spent, the funded schemes provide £5.50 worth of social benefit." The DfT's "Value for Money" guidance says a project will generally be regarded as "medium" if the BCR is between 1.5 and 2; and "high" if it is above 2. In transport terms, 35 to 1 is most definitely "off the scale".To put this into perspective, the Eddington transport study of 2006 said the BCR for trunk roads was 4.66, local roads 4.23 and light rail schemes a measly 2.14. The UK's £43bn HS2 rail project has a BCR of just 2.3. Ministers often state that road and rail projects offer "high" benefit to cost ratios.This tallies with another ground-breaking DfT report, "Claiming the Health Dividend", also released today; the report riffs on the many benefits of "active travel", stressing that the investment case for cycling is "compelling." Read on here. 

Barriers to bikesharing: an analysis from Melbourne and Brisbane

This study quantifies the motivators and barriers to bikeshare program usage in Australia. An online survey was administered to a sample of annual members of Australia’s two bikeshare programs based in Brisbane and Melbourne, to assess motivations for joining the schemes. Non-members of the programs were also sampled in order to identify current barriers to joining bikeshare. Spatial analysis from Brisbane revealed residential and work locations of non-members were more geographically dispersed than for bikeshare members. An analysis of bikeshare usage in Melbourne showed a strong relationship between docking stations in areas with relatively less accessible public transit opportunities. The most influential barriers to bikeshare use related to motorized travel being too convenient and docking stations not being sufficiently close to home, work and other frequented destinations. The findings suggest that bikeshare programs may attract increased membership by ensuring travel times are competitive with motorized travel,  Convenience considerations may include strategic location of docking stations, ease of signing up and integration with public transport. Read on here. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

China embraces the bicycle again

China’s campaign to re-embrace its biking tradition is catapulting the wealth of two Chinese billionaires. To reduce air pollution and traffic jam, the country has become a leader in building sharable biking systems. The regained cycling  enthusiasm in China is adding to the wealth of two billionaires. Shanghai Forever Co., a bike manufacturer whose board chairman Chen Rong ranked No.281 on the Forbes China Rich List with a net worth of $750 million, has seen its share price rising by 51.4% in the last 12 months. The Shanghai-listed company, which was acquired by Chen’s Zhonglu Group in 2001, now has a market capitalization of $7.01 billion yuan ($ 1.14 billion). The firm, also backed by the wealth management arm of France’s BNP Paribas , said its bike-share facilities will be upgraded as it rolls out more programs in Jiangsu province, adding to the 69 facilities it already operates nationwide, according to company filings and website. Read more here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2015 Winter Cycling Congress Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

The first Winter Cycling Congress took place in February 2013 when winter cycling enthusiast gathered in Oulu, Finland, to discuss and experience winter cycling. The participants and organizers soon realized that much more work was needed to further the research and achievements of projects relating to winter cycling. The Winter Cycling Federation was thus created. After Oulu, Finland, in 2013, and Winnipeg, Canada, in 2014, the Congress will be held in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in 2015. Leeuwarden is located in the northern province of Frysl├ón. Winter Cycling Congress 2015 Leeuwarden is about uniting hearty souls from communities of all climates, sizes and levels of bicycle development who share the ambition to make two-wheeled travel normal, even when the snow flies. Using the perspective of all different types of professionals – from engineers to planners to journalists and more – we are planning a conference meant to show winter cycling is more than a sustainable solution for transporting people, it is also a way to develop a culture and built environment supporting the health, wealth and happiness of many people. Read more about this here and meet me there.