Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bicycle-sharing booms in European cities

Almost all major cities in Europe currently have or are considering bicycle-sharing programs. Cities developing programs are looking to Velib in Paris as one model. The bikes can be picked up at one location and dropped off at another, and payments are deducted automatically from bank accounts. In addition to the advantage of bicycles beating traffic in most centres, new technology uses smart cards, adding to the riders' convenience.

In North America, the car culture, longer distances, and need for bike helmets have reduced the appeal of these programs, though we may see such programs popping up in some city centres, like Ottawa (see article below).

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