16 January 2015
Bike Sharing Systems As the number of people living in cities increases, it becomes more difficult for people to move around the city because of increased traffic congestion. At times, as more people start to live in cities, car companies increase the prices of cars to the point where most people can not afford to own a car thus have no means of transportations. Even though most cities have a public transport program i.e. public buses and subway lines, these programs are usually unreliable as buses do not usually arrive on time and are not very convenient for people travelling to shorter distances. Many cities in Europe and now recently USA such as Minneapolis have adopted a Bike Sharing System in their city as a mean for people to get around the city easily at a low cost. A Bike Sharing System is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a very short term basis. In a bike sharing system people can borrow a bike at one point in the city and return it at another point for a low price. People can usually borrow a bike for
3045 minutes at a time, so that one bike can be used by several people in one day.
This is an innovation that helps the city get its citizens around more effectively and it helps the environment at the same time. Even though some people may think that an ecologically compatible economy is impossible, having an ecologically compatible economy is possible as demonstrated through the Minneapolis Bike Sharing system where the system is getting people around more effectively, saving the government
money in buying more public transport and gas for the cars as well as reducing their cities pollutions there by making their city a happier and healthier place to live. The Bike Sharing System is effective because it is cheap. In Minneapolis, the Bike
Sharing System is called the 'Freewheelin!' program and it started in 2007. The program has more than 1000 bicycles and about 12 stations throughout the downtown of the city.
Stations are places where people can borrow and return bikes. Sponsored by Bikes
Belong, the main aim of 'Freewheelin!' was to provide proofofconcept that large scale bicycle sharing, which was exploding in Europe could work in the U.S (Wikipedia). This system is cheap and helps people, move along downtown easily and more effectively.
Because bike systems are cheaper than taking public transport, people are more likely to choose this mode of transportation. People typically do not like spending money on expensive services and in such situations will usually choose the cheapest options, thus increasing the effectiveness of these types of programs. Because people are more willing to pay a small sum to borrow a bike over a short amount of time than buying a bike which is more costly for maintenance, they are more like use the bike sharing system. Along the same lines, this innovation is more ecologically friendlier than taking a cab or a bus. As people become more educated about the effects of global warming and the effects it will have on humans, more people are more willing to incorporate Eco friendly options in their lives and are more likely to choose biking to work or school for a small
sum. This program increases the air quality of cities because instead of taking cabs or buses which emit a lot of carbon dioxide, people use bikes which cause no pollution at all. "Commuters cut down emissions by using bike shares"( Bicycle Touring Guide), as commuters learn about the advantages of the bike sharing system, they are more likely to try them out and in most cases end up liking them because of the low commitment that they require. Bike Sharing Programs are also beneficial to cities and the environment because they reduce the carbon footprint of that particular city which makes that city healthier to live in. Because of this, the city is more