In today’s technology driven world where comfort and convenience is essential the sharing economy has changed people’s travel behavior. Transportation is a key part of every society and different travel options are offered in every city around the world. Beyond the public transportation system that cities are proud of, a new concept has flourished. The bike sharing system! How does it work? Read on to learn more about the bike sharing phenomenon!
Bike sharing is a collaborative network of bicycle stations. Each station can contain several bicycles, which are available to users for shared use. Most bike sharing systems are either free or charge a small fee to unlock a bike and have it for a limited time (30 or 60 minutes), but some systems charge longer usage fees. Factors such as user or cyclist behavior, or city infrastructure, can influence the implementation of a bike-sharing scheme. The first large-scale bike sharing system was the White Bicycle plan in Amsterdam in 1965. The idea was not successful.
The bike sharing usually works as a public transportation and can be accessed with a card. You go to a bike station to rent a bike. The stations are usually placed in the central locations to allow as many people as possible to get to them and to decrease the number of cars in the city. In a shared cycling scheme, bike stations are distributed throughout the city (sometimes concentrated in certain areas like downtown) and are accessible to whoever has an account with the system. Using the bike is usually much cheaper than taking a taxi or public transportation.
Bike share has a positive effect on the health of the cities’ residents and on the environment. People become more physically fit by using biking and cities spend less on car traffic and parking. This system encourages more people to practice bicycles and to think creatively about how they can make their travels happen without needing to use a car. Public bike sharing systems are a great tool to promote an environment-friendly and sustainable transport around the city. Another great thing about bike sharing, is that kids are able to ride a bike more often and enjoy the freedom of the city while parents don’t need to worry about them anymore. Bike sharing is a great system, developed for the whole family to enjoy.
To sum up the key advantages of bike sharing systems, the bikes are easy to use, they are comfortable and convenient for short trips, they are affordable and require less space than other means of transportation. As for the disadvantages, bikes are not for everyone especially those with a disability or physical impairment.
As the world is changing so rapidly there is no surprise that we are also witnessing some changes in the world of transport. The shared cycling scheme, or bike sharing system, promotes the use of bikes for short distance traveling in cities. Bike sharing systems are now being introduced in major cities around the world and have become a part of everyday life in some cities.