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The Bike-Share Planning Guide: the key to success

(10/06/2014)

Following the launch of the Vélib’ initiative, over 600 cities around the world are due to have their own bike-share scheme within 7 years. Published by the ITDP (Institut for Transportation and Development Policy) in the USA, The Bike-Share Planning Guide looks at existing bike-share schemes, identifying the key success factors for this kind of initiative.

According to the authors of The Bike-Share Planning Guide, the biggest and most successful schemes help to promote bicycle use as a viable and valued transport option.

Analysing 30 bike-share schemes across four different continents, the study enabled them to identify the essential criteria for an efficient service, a number of which are given below:

-          A suitably dense network of stations, with a distance of 300m between each one (10-16 stations per km²)

-          10 to 30 bikes per 1,000 residents

-          Bikes that are robust, attractive and suitable for everyone to use

-          A user-friendly automated locking mechanism and an intuitive system for using the bikes with clear instructions.

The guide makes reference to the Vélib’ (Paris), Sevici (Seville), Vélo’v (Lyon), Villo! (Brussels), Bicloo (Nantes) and Dublinbikes (Dublin) bike-share schemes, citing Vélib’ as one of the biggest and most popular systems with users. Most of the cities that now have a bike-share scheme used this particular scheme as their model. Paris was in fact the first city to introduce this type of scheme on such a major scale. The thousands of bikes in circulation have changed the face of the city, which now has many more cyclists and an expanded network of cycle routes.

Why introduce a city bike-share scheme? What conditions are required to guarantee an efficient service? How are station locations selected? How do you run a successful communications campaign to promote a bike-share scheme? The Bike-Share Planning Guide looks at experiences with existing schemes with a view to helping other cities to develop their own. 

Access the guide at https://go.itdp.org/display/live/The+Bike-Share+Planning+Guide