New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Bikesharing in the U.S.

January 30, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Jay Walljasper

Minneapolis Program Demonstrates Successful Model

by Jay Walljasper

For all those who dismissed bike sharing as a woolly-headed European idea that would never work on the mean streets of U.S. cities, the success of the first season of the Minneapolis Nice Ride bike program will come as a surprise.

700 public bikes hit the streets in June at 65 stations, and they were taken for more than 100,000 rides until put away for the winter in mid-November. 1300 people signed up for an annual membership and 30,000 signed up for a $5 daily pass with the swipe of a credit card.

But the numbers that may be more significant for the future of bike sharing are three, two and none. That’s the number of bikes vandalized, the number of bikes stolen and the numbers of injuries reported. This conclusively answers numerous skeptics who thought that sharing bikes would never work here in the individualistic, auto-crazed USA. (more…)