on bike sharing

Noted on the Bike-Share blog, (provided by MetroBike, LLC, based in Washington, US, providing information on the emerging public transportation mode of bike-sharing) the impressive statistics on how the Velib bike share programme in Paris is transorming the city, see below.

But the disappointing find on the Bike Share blog was the lack of schemes in the UK compared to the rest of Europe. (is this because there are no schemes or because they are not on the google map, or have a web presence – which is how Bike Share picks them up?)

We have a few (ok too many) bikes here which we would willingly share for anyone wanting to cycle around the Forest of Bowland !!

From Bike-Share:

The latest Velib’ survey results are available and posted on the Velib’ Website. Just in case you don’t parlez Français, here’s a summary:

  • Trips to date: 20 million
  • Average trips/day: 70,000
  • Average trip time: 18 minutes
  • 190,000 annual pass holders
  • 42% of users are female, 58% are male
  • 1/3 of users come from outside the central city
  • 17% of users are 46+ years old
  • 94% of users like the service

These results are highly impressive. The stats that amazed me the most are the number of trips to date and the percentage of female users. As Velib’ is not yet one year old, there are still about two months of trips still to be made which could equate to another 5 million trips, or a total of 25 million trips, before the anniversary of it’s launch date of July 15.

Having nearly the same percentage of female and male customers shows how mainstream bike-sharing has become in Paris. In cities where lesser bike cultures exist, such as those in North America, males tend to dominate bike usage by 3 to 1. Women are less likely to ride a bike when concerned about their safety compared to men. Men also tend to be generally more risk-taking and will ride in less safe street conditions. While not 50/50, this male/female customer demographic shows that women are using Velib’ confidently, so Paris has done a good job in creating safe bike facilities before the launch of the program.


image credit: Velib’

1 thought on “on bike sharing

  1. Adrian McEwen

    I don’t know about other areas, but in Cambridge (surely one of the obvious places for such a scheme) they tried a similar system 15 years ago.

    It wasn’t as technological as any of these newer schemes, and worked on an honour system with the bikes being left unlocked. As a result, most went walkabout in short order and the scheme was abandoned.

    As a result, whenever anyone suggests something similar, it gets shot down fairly quickly, sadly.



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