Five New Bike Share Cities to Explore

Seattle, Hamilton, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Indianapolis have all recently introduced public bike share systems.

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Photo courtesy of DecoBike San Diego

Photo courtesy of DecoBike San Diego

Bike shares, often dubbed “the new public transit”, are on a rapid rise in North America and around the world. According to a recent study by transit researcher Dr. Elliot Fishman, the number of bike share systems worldwide grew from 13 in 2014 to a startling 855 in 2014, with 54 of those located in the US. Below are five cities who have recently joined the growing ranks of cities who have launched public bike share systems.

Seattle, Washington
Pronto Cycle Share

Seattle’s Pronto Cycle Share rolled out in October 2014 with 500 bikes at 50 docking stations across Seattle. Despite launching the system at the onset of Seattle’s notably rainy winters, Pronto managed to sign up 2,383 annual members as of April 2015, at a membership price of $85 USD each. They also racked up an impressive 7,680 day pass sales, at $8 USD. Hinting at a cycle-friendly future for the Pacific Northwestern City, Seattle recently joined PeopleForBikes’ Green Lane Project and built a new protected bike lane on Second Avenue. As part of the project, they are also currently in the midst of a two-year plan to put all residents within 1/4 mile of a bike facility. Pronto’s interactive bike share map can be found here.

Hamilton, Ontario
SoBi Hamilton

SoBi, short for Social Bicycles, is Hamilton’s new brightly-colored bike share system. The organization rolled out a soft launch of 200 bicycles in January 2015, and then added 750 bicycles in March. The blue bikes can be found at 105 docking stations all across downtown Hamilton. An annual membership costs $85 CAD, or there is a $15 CAD monthly membership and a $4 hourly rate for casual riders and visitors. In an effort to increase ridership in Hamilton, city councillors recently voted to spend $1.6 million CAD on a two-way protected bike lane on downtown’s Canon Street. A map of SoBi’s bikes and station can be found here.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Indego, Pennsylvania’s first bike share program, hit the streets in Philadelphia in April 2015 with 500 bikes at 67 docking stations. In its first week, the program recorded 8,000 individual rides. Indego has a $15 USD monthly fee, or a $10 annual membership that charges $4 per trip. They also have a walk-up fee of $4 for any trip up to 30 minutes. Just a few days ahead of the bike share’s launch, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office hastened the construction of a paint-buffered bike lane on downtown’s Rittenhouse Square West to encourage new riders. Indego’s station map can be seen here.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana Pacers Bikeshare

Indiana Pacers Bikeshare, named after the Indiana Pacers basketball team, rolled out across downtown Indianaoplis in April, 2014, to a welcome reception. The 250 bright yellow bicycles are lined up at 25 stations across the city. The Pacer’s bike share has an $80 USD annual membership fee, $8 USD for a 24-hour bike check-out, or $2 USD for rides under an hour. The program’s success has largely been attributed to the existence of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, of which the bike share is a subsidiary program. The ICT is an 8-mile (13 km) bike and pedestrian path that connects neighborhoods, cultural districts, and entertainment amenities across downtown Indianapolis. The station map can be viewed here.

San Diego, California

San Diego’s DecoBike has been rolling out in a series of mini-launches since January 2015. Now complete, the system boasts an impressive 1,700 public bikes at 180 solar-powered docking stations around the city. DecoBikes offers a $99 USD annual membership, $50 USD monthly membership, or a variety of short-term options including $5 USD for a 30-minute rental. San Diego has a number of scenic bikeways and routes, including the 24 mile Bayshore Bikeway around the San Diego Bay, or there’s the historic Gaslamp District to check out downtown. DecoBike’s bicycle and station map can be seen here.

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