Bike-sharing programs in various cities, prominently in Europe and China allow commuters to pick up a bike in one place and drop it off at their destination, for a modest fee or (in some cases) for free. A smart card is generally used for deposit and payment.
Benefits include physical and mental health, better quality of life (lower stress), less traffic, lower infrastructure costs,[verification needed] financial savings, and elimination of noise and air pollution for these passengers. It helps to create a a sustainable city.
One person switching from driving to cycling to work for a 10km trip each way saves 1.3 tonnes CO2 emissions a year.
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In late 2016 to early 2017 privately-owned, shared bicycles began appearing in major cities around China. The rapid growth of this market has begun to change the transportation sector around the country. As of April 2017 the major players in this emergent market include Ofo and Mobike. Public bike share programs have existed in many parts of China before this, but were comparatively underused. These systems typically required bikes to be locked to rental stations at various, specific locations. The new private bikes are instead designed with built-in locking mechanisms, allowing them to be left virtually anywhere. Smartphone apps are used by riders to first locate and then pay for rentals, thus unlocking the bike. Many bikes tend to congregate around subway stations and office buildings because commuters take them "the last mile", which may not have a convenient public transportation connections.
As this market has been rapidly expanding, it has created challenges which are being responded to in a number of ways. The payment systems used in these operations are set to encourage drivers to treat bikes well, and park them in appropriate places. However, many bikes have been damaged intentionally. Private security guards and municipal code enforcers have grown frustrated by some of the inappropriate places bikes have been appearing. Some bicycles have been "hoarded" by riders hiding them in less accessible places. Taxi drivers and other commuter transportation workers, already competing with Didi/Uber, maybe have to look for other livelihoods. Competition has been fierce, leading companies to plan expansion to other countries in Asia-Pacific and beyond.
Bike-Sharing In Europe[edit | edit source]
Bike-Sharing In United States[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- SmartBike Facts, SmartBike, Dec 2008. Clear Channel, Web. 22 Feb 2010.
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- Wikipedia List Of Bike Sharing Programs
- Bike Sharing At Wikipedia
- Bicycling Magazine Bike Sharing Topic
- Noya Fields Bike Sharing Topic
China[edit | edit source]
- China's Bike Sharing Industry Mini Report
- China's "Uber for bikes"
- Ofo vs Mobike: Northern vs Southern China expansion models
- Chinese smart bike-sharing service Mobike rides into Singapore