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Riding the Bike Share Boom

Without a doubt, 2013 has been a banner year for bike-share in the United States. Major systems were implemented in New York City and Chicago, and many others debuted or expanded in other cities. In fact, Citi Bike users have biked over 10 million miles and the system is closing in on 100,000 annual members!

The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) has been studying 25 bike-share systems throughout the world, analyzing which ones perform the best and why. That informed ITDP's Bike Share Planning Guide, which has copious data and fascinating charts to pore over, helping cities create bike-share systems that will thrive.

We were very happy to team up with ITDP to make this Streetfilm. It features a dozen bike-share systems and captures footage from an unprecedented number of bike-share cities in any one film. Enjoy and download the report!

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Les

    I wonder why Atlanta is dragging their feet on BikeShare. They've been talking about it forever, but not doing anything.

  • Kevin Love

    I love Clarence's videos! If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.

  • Richard Miller

    Great video. I hope we get the numbers on the seats for Citibike.

  • Sean Kelliher

    At 4:25, when Jon Orcutt says "we spent five years putting in a really good bike lane network," is he talking about this? Because this is what I mostly see around where I live and "good" is never a term I associate with it. It doesn't seem like an invitation to try Citibike, it seems more like the reason almost all of my colleagues say something like "I'm tempted to try Citibike, but I won't use it. The roads are just too scary."

    I appreciate the progress Mr. Orcutt has made. I really do. And he has helped put in some high quality infrastructure. But getting bicycling and Citbike to gain mass appeal will require a comprehensive network where high quality, protected bike infrastructure is the norm not the exception. It's just not going to happen if the DOT continues to bend to every reluctant community board, or never touch issues such as parking and placard reform. Let's hope the next administration continues the good efforts that Mr. Orcutt and JSK started and has the insight to take them to a higher level that everyone can benefit from.

  • chekpeds

    excellent- I wonder why other cities' bike lanes look brand new and bright green, when ours even if only one year old, look like they were installed 20 years ago?

  • Clarence Eckerson

    Yeah, I notice that too. We do love our grime in NYC.

  • Michael Klatsky

    It has to do with volumes. A typical side street in Midtown sees more traffic than most arterials in other regions.

  • Andy

    Another great succinct film.
    UK ciites outside London are slow to take up bike share as the London model has fixed a price and fixed-site format in many minds leading to high costs and an over-long planning process. Last week's presentations by Jon Orcutt & Kate Fillin-Yeh in Leeds & Manchester to 100+ Transport & Regeneration leaders, Department for Transport (DfT) officials, Transport Ministers, City Mayor's & the likes of Chris Boardman at British Cycling have finally helped to stimulate a big interest carried on regional news and national BBC TV.
    They underlined some key basic building block over here. 1 - Reallocate roadspace to safe networks quickly and extensively first. 2 - Use portable bike stations 3 - Work with it as a robust & resilient supplement to public transport & 4 - Get on with it 'It's not rocket science' !!
    I rode the Citibike in June - New York was more fun and easier to get around by bike ...

  • Katja

    Great film, guys.

    I know it's a pipe dream because each municipality runs their own bike share system how they want, but hot DANG would it be cool to be able to use my Divvy key at a Citi Bike (or Capital Bikeshare or Nice Ride or or or) station.

  • Clarence

    I agree. I'd be willing to bet sometime far in the future there will be some sort of E-Z Pass situation set up where you could pay an additional fee and use it. People are asking for it and wanting it, but it'd require all the systems to make it a priority. Right now I think they are all too busy maximizing their systems at the time to do that.

  • Ride a Bike Denver

    Incredible film, and interesting statistics from the ITDP report. We used the numbers to make an infographic about Denver's bike share program -- it's interesting to see how more spread out cities compare to very densely packed places: http://rideabikedenver.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/denver-b-cycle-by-the-numbers/

  • Clarence

    Not sure if London is the best ranked. I thought they told me it was Mexico City?

  • Ride a Bike Denver

    Huh. Now that I look again, it's unclear to me. I based that info on the last chart in the report, on page 28 -- "Bike-share System Performance Metrics." I was assuming the list was in order from best-ranked to worst-ranked -- where did you get the info on Mexico City being best ranked?

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Well I know for a fact London's Bike Share has been in crisis. See here: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/12/londons-bike-share-crisis/7844/

    You might want to write to: Colin Hughes who helped compile the report: colin.hughes@itdp.org