The Bike-Share Report's Go-To Guide for Bike-Sharing FAQs
This is the third post of The Bike-share Report, a new blog series on bike-sharing, exclusive to TheCityFix, from Peter Midgley – the former Urban Mobility Theme Champion for the global Transport Knowledge Partnership (gTKP) with 25 years of experience at The World Bank. The previous blog post in this series provided an overview of the challenges and opportunities currently faced by bicycle-sharing schemes worldwide.
There’s a flourishing demand for accessible information about bicycle-sharing schemes across the globe, due to the increasing interest in their development. This trend is clear both from media reports and the success of systems in major cities like London, New York City, Copenhagen, and elsewhere. Sadly, there is no single repository of information about bicycle-sharing, which drives people to spend hours searching for the material they need on the internet. The good news? There’s actually quite a lot of very useful information available – and we’re going to help you find it.
The tables below present a first attempt to pull together what information is available on bicycle-sharing, from blogs and websites, maps and data sources, bicycle-sharing operators, articles, guidelines, toolkits and reports, as well as slide decks and videos. While not exhaustive in coverage, the 100 sources selected here provide a comprehensive overview of this state of the art innovation in urban mobility.
Blogs and websites
There are several blogs and websites that provide information on bicycle-sharing systems, the most complete being the The Bike-sharing Blog, which attempts to track the development of new schemes worldwide. Few websites provide information on system performance, but one of the most complete in this regard is Capital Bikeshare, which provides extensive data and metrics on system usage for Washington, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare system. An interesting development is the online publication of Bradley Schroeder’s recent book, Bicycle Sharing 101: Getting the Wheels Turning, which provides practical advice on developing bicycle-sharing systems with well-developed operational and financial plans. The global Transport Knowledge Practice (gTKP) resource center has 36 documents on bicycle-sharing, including presentations and videos, but unfortunately these are somewhat dated.
Maps, visualizations, and data
Perhaps the most well-known and most visited resource on bike-sharing is The Bike-sharing World Map, which was first established in 2007 by Russell Meddin and Paul DeMaio when bicycle-sharing was just beginning to gain momentum with the inauguration of the Velib’ system in Paris. In 2010, when the Barclays Cycle Hire system opened in London, Oliver O’Brien – a researcher and software developer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London (UCL) – developed the Bike Share Map which shows in real-time the usage of bicycle-sharing systems from over one hundred cities around the world.
Visualizations of bike-share program trips are becoming increasingly common as more systems allow access to their datasets. Many are visually stunning and provide a clear impression of how the systems are being used, in real-time or over time periods such as days, weeks, months or years.
Performance data and metric are hard to come by but Capital Bikeshare currently provides the most comprehensive system data from its member survey reports. Equally challenging is getting information and data on systems in China. The recent paper on The Evolution and Lessons from China Mainland Bike-sharing is therefore a most welcome addition.
There is no central registry of bicycle-sharing operators. The operators listed below represent a first attempt to bring together those that provide services in 538 cities and account for 84% of the global bike-sharing market. Most are located in Europe, but the past few years have seen the growth of operators based in Brazil, Canada, China, and the United States.
Articles, guidelines, toolkits and reports
The last two years has seen a dramatic increase in the publication of articles, guidelines, toolkits, and reports on bicycle-sharing. Again, most stem from Europe but there is a noticeable increase in material from the United States. 2012 and 2013 marked the publication of some of the first comprehensive guidelines on how to introduce and implement bicycle-sharing systems – efforts led by stakeholders in the United States.
There has also been a considerable increase in presentations on bicycle-sharing at conferences and workshops focused on sustainable urban mobility, especially concerning but not limited to urban development in the United States.
It is my hope that the above information will help increase accessibility to information about bike-sharing worldwide. Please feel free to submit suggestions of material that should be added to the above lists directly to me at [email protected], or share your thoughts in the comment section on how we can work together to establish an easily accessible, public knowledge base for bicycle-sharing.
Peter Midgley is currently the Urban Mobility Adviser for the Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative (IndII), an Australian Government funded project designed to promote economic growth in Indonesia. Between 2008 and 2010, he was the Urban Mobility Theme Champion with the global Transport Knowledge Partnership (gTKP). It was during this period that he began to monitor developments in bike-sharing and established a bike-sharing database, which he continues to update every year. Peter also drafted the background paper, “Bicycle-Sharing Schemes: Enhancing Sustainable Mobility in Urban Areas,” for UN DESA for the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in May 2011.
Peter has over 40 years of experience in urban transport. He was a staff member of the World Bank for 25 years and he has supported the need to improve urban mobility throughout his career. He lives in south-west France.
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities works to make urban sustainability a reality. Global research and on-the-ground experience in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States combine to spur action that improves life for millions of people.