Bike sharing schemes (BSS)

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1 Bike sharing schemes (BSS) Index Purpose Description Relevance for Large Scale Events Options Technologies Impacts Integration potential Implementation Best Cases and Examples 1 of 7

2 Purpose The need to define urban mobility strategies that reduce the negative impact of individualized car traffic has increasingly gained attention among various stakeholders in recent years. Global megatrends like climate change reinforce the need for a change in urban mobility that has already started in many places. Modern urban transport systems should consist of powerful PT systems with flexible and easy intermodal interchanges between the different modes of transport. Flexible and attractive sharing offers reduce the need for private cars. The aim of BSS is to increase the usage of bicycles in an urban environment by removing some of its primary disadvantages to the individual rider, including loss from theft or vandalism, lack of parking or storage, and maintenance requirements. Usually bike-sharing schemes are designed to provide a public mean of transport for proximity trip, accounting for a short distance and short trip time (usually it is free of charge within 30 minutes, with a steep fare increase as soon as the rental time increase), to facilitate intermodal transport. The final purpose is then the reduction of congestion and pollution at urban level. Description Bicycle sharing systems are schemes in which a numbers of bicycles, placed in several stations widespread in the city, are made available for shared use by individuals who do not own them. Publicly shared bicycles are a considered public mobility service, mainly useful in urban environment for proximity travels. Bike-sharing is usually designed for city dwellers; often visitors can access the service. Usually modern systems require a credit card deposit to guarantee the correct use and return of the bicycle. 2 of 7

3 Relevance for Large Scale Events The relevance for large events scale is still unknown, since bike-sharing schemes are quite new compared to other transport means. BSSs are anyway a flexible addition and complement to PT, making the whole system more flexible and thus more attractive. A BSS can also contribute to the image of a sustainable and modern city, able to support the candidature for the race to obtain the large event hosting. The media coverage about implementing the schemes has raised a lot of awareness of the cities themselves, and the BSS topic and necessary changes in urban mobility in general. On the other hand, planning a BSS Planning a BSS (Figure 47) is more than defining the technical and organization details. The process starts with developing a broad basis for cycling and clean urban mobility. Stakeholders should become aware of the goals for their BSS and define characteristics of the scheme to be able to put the plan into practice. A tentative analysis could led to the conclusion that bike-sharing could indirectly support mobility during a large events. A well dimensioned bike-sharing scheme could indeed decongesting private traffic: this would be of great help during a large event, when all the mobility systems are under pressure. Options Bike-sharing schemes can have many variants, according to city needs and targets. The main differences can be: for city users and/or for tourists; large or small served area; possibility to leave the bike in a different station from the pick-up one; yearly or seasonal operation; fare structure; membership and deposit policy Technologies Indication of the technologies required by the tool While first schemes (implemented since the 70s) where very basic, current systems rely on technologies like RFID, GNSS (to localize the bike for management and security reasons), communication networks (GSM, internet) to have a real-time knowledge of the status of the system (also via mobile devices), and the use of smart and bank cards to use and pay for the service. 3 of 7

4 Modern bike-sharing stations are also equipped with electronic totem with touch screen displays to facilitate the user to pick-up the bike and pay for the service. Impacts The potential effects of the system, e.g. in terms of traffic efficiency, environmental impact, safety, protection of vulnerable road users, etc. The potential impacts of bike-sharing is the reduction of congestion and pollution at urban level. It is common to experience a more than double increase of cycling use; CO2 emission reduction is also reported by many cities, though statistics vary in relationship with the feature of the scheme. Integration potential other ITS which can be integrated with the tool in order to improve its effectiveness Modern systems are trying to integrate bike-sharing with other systems like public transport planning and itinerary calculation tools. Implementation practical indications regarding deployment of the tool 4 of 7

5 It is not easy to sum up here practical indication for a successful deployment of bike-sharing scheme, since it depend upon several city characteristics and other factors. The following list tries to sum-up the main ones: City size and mobility features (demographic factors, population density, geographic factors, transport network, etc ) Mobility behaviour (modal shift, etc ) Political situation Financial situation Climate Service design Hardware & Technology Type of operator (public, private, partnership, etc ) Contracts and ownership Economic factors Financing sources Examples Case studies describing use of the tool: a) In previous large scale events, b) in more general contexts One of the most recent and interesting examples is the London Barclays Cycle Hire, created by Transport for London (TfL) in It will also face the Olympics in 2012, and it will be one of the largest bike-sharing schemes to be used during a large event. Good practice examples (general examples, not only from large events) London Barclays Cycle Hire started in summer 2010 with 315 docking stations and 5,000 bikes operational across central London. Launched by TfL on 30 July, by the end of October the scheme had over 100,000 registered members and over 1.5 million cycle hire trips had been made in that time. When fully implemented in spring 2011, the scheme will have 6,000 bikes in operation and TfL expects around 30,000 cycle hire journeys every day. In November 2010, Phase 2 was announced confirming that the scheme would expand by a further 2,000 bikes extending into east London and increasing docking stations in the central zone. 5 of 7

6 TfL undertook a number of measures to promote cycle safety awareness to Barclays Cycle Hire users. These included the launch of a Code of Conduct to help users enjoy their ride safely in London; funding additional cycle training with partner boroughs to enable members of the public to receive cycle training. BSSs in France There is no cycling master plan in France, but in 2006 a programme called A road for all was instigated. A cycling coordinator at the Transport Ministry had been established to cooperate with organizations like the user group Fubicy and local authority group Club des Villes Cyclables, as well as the National Energy Agency. 35 million French practice cycling (25 million regularly), of whom 15 million for leisure or tourism. The cycling modal share is quite low at around 2%, but is on the increase in large cities. Helmets are not obligatory in France. BSSs in France have been developed over three periods of time. In 1998, the first computerized system in the world was established in Rennes (Vélo à la carte), operated by the private company ClearChannel. 2005, Velo v in Lyon as one of the first large-scale schemes immediately exceeded expectations in terms of users and number of rentals. The start of Vélib in Paris in 2007 had a huge impact on the visibility of BSSs in France (and worldwide). Since then, new BSSs have been implemented in France at a rate of 6-11 new towns per year. 34 schemes are operating in France (September 2010). The development of bike sharing in France is still growing. Most of the big cities provide BSSs and mediumsized suburbs benefit from the BSSs of their inner cities (29 towns are part of Vélib in Paris including Gentilly with 17,000 inhabitants). Several medium-sized towns (Vannes, Cergy-Pontoise, La Rochelle, Avignon, etc.) and even small towns (Chalon-sur-Saône with 48,000 inhabitants) have implemented their own BSS. In spite of the world economic crisis, the willingness to invest in bike sharing in France seems to be in a dynamic period. It turns out that more medium-sized and small cities, like Lorient, are studying the opportunity of implementing a BSS. It can be seen that cities can learn from the experiences of current systems, especially regarding vandalism, interoperability (town centre - suburbs), the cost of the BSS to the local authority and the capacity of advertising to remunerate the operator and usage rates for BSSs in 6 of 7

7 medium sized cities. New schemes will be more dependent on the local investment capacities. The integration with the PT system (e.g. Lille 2011) and new technical options like electric bikes will be options for the future. Redistribution and Repair Ship of Vélib External and Interior View (Photo: JCDecaux) BSSs have raised the general awareness of cycling and mobility issues in France. Stakeholders have started to take into account a more global approach, including infrastructure development and use, and the relationships between the different modes of transport. Authorities are becoming aware of the need for car-free public space and the two-way access (cycle contra flows) of one-way streets to cyclists is ongoing. In this context it can also be mentioned that Autolib, the first free-access, one-way car sharing scheme on its scale, is programmed to begin in Paris in autumn France is an example of how a country without a strong everyday cycling culture can increase the cycling modal share in cities in a short period of time by experimenting with an idea or a concept. The attractiveness of a national commercial offer, often linked to urban advertising in France, and its popularity among local officials surely helps this development. Thanks to Vélo V in Lyon and Vélib in Paris, BSSs became very popular in Europe, as a new form of mobility which every city should have, and as an option for cities to present themselves as modern. Other examples on BSS: see OBIS (Optimizing Bike Sharing in European Cities) project results in 7 of 7

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