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Transportation Nation

No Docking Stations Needed: A 'Smarter' Bike Share

Thursday, May 16, 2013

WNYC

Just a few days after New York starts up its bike share, Hoboken, N.J. will offer its own, more high-tech program.

Hoboken’s bikes have a built-in lock that replaces the need for bike docking stations, like the ones popping up in New York City. The integrated GPS and smart locks allow customers to lock their bikes at a bike rack.

Membership will cost $25 per month or $75 for the season, which runs through November.

Social Bicycles come with a built-in repair button for when customers get a flat tire, for example, and customers can see statistics of their bike ride, including a map of the course they biked and the amount of calories burned.

Starting this Saturday, the city will also offer bike rentals, through Bike and Roll, aimed at attracting tourists who want to bike the New York City skyline along Hoboken’s waterfront.

Bike and Roll will have $10 per hour rates and $34 daily rates.  

 

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Transportation Nation

With Two Weeks To Go Before Memorial Day Launch, NYC Bike Share Hits 10,000 Members

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“Citi Bike is generating more excitement than we’ve ever seen for a new transportation option and there’s no sign of it stopping,” said DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan. (And that number could already higher: a source told TN that he just purchased membership number 11,490.)

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WNYC News

DOT Demos Bike Share at Navy Yard

Sunday, May 12, 2013

With the city’s long awaited bike share program just two weeks from getting underway, the Department of Transportation gave reporters access to a few bikes and stations at the Brooklyn Navy yard on Sunday.

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Transportation Nation

NYC's Bike Share to Launch on Memorial Day

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The largest bike share program in the country will officially roll on May 27. And annual Citi Bike members will get to kick the wheels of the city's bike share program for a full week before everyone else.

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Transportation Nation

NYC Mayoral Candidate Lhota Likes Bike Share, But the Racks, Notsomuch

Thursday, May 02, 2013

WNYC

Yet another New York City mayoral candidate is trying to parse the bike issue. Republican Joe Lhota used the shock some people felt at the sudden arrival of docking stations as a way to distinguish himself from Mayor Bloomberg's management style. But, Lhota said, he's "absolutely in favor of" bike share, and in "no way, shape or form" means to criticize bike share or bike lanes.

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WNYC News

City Deploys Agents to Police Bike Lanes Ahead of Bike Share Launch

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ahead of next month's launch of a new bike share program, the city’s Department of Transportation is deploying so-called "street safety managers" to restore order back to bike lanes and make sure cyclists — and pedestrians — are obeying traffic signals.

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Transportation Nation

Brooklynites Like Bike Share, Just Not In Front of Their Homes

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Changing the face of city sidewalks touches a visceral nerve for neighbors. So it's no surprise that as New York City prepares for the launch of a bike sharing program people are speaking out.

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Transportation Nation

Anatomy of a Bike Share Docking Station Installation

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A bike share docking station came to Soho on Tuesday. Camera in hand, we went to check it out.

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Transportation Nation

2013 Is a Boom Year for Bike Share, Here's Which Cities Will Launch Next (MAP)

Monday, April 22, 2013

North America is seeing a boom in bike sharing program launches. The number of cities planning to add bicycles as public transportation on the continent is expected to jump by 50 percent this year, bringing the total number to 53.

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Transportation Nation

Orlando On Track For Bike Share Next Spring

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WMFE

Orlando's transportation planning agency says the city could see a bike sharing system up and running by next spring, in time for Central Florida's SunRail commuter train, a program we reported on last fall. On Wednesday Metroplan Orlando's bike share working group got a look at bikes produced by one of the companies angling for a toe hold in Central Florida.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Bike Share is Coming

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NYC's bike share program is accepting registrations, and docks are already installed in some locations. WNYC's metro editor, Andrea Bernstein, explains what you need to know to register for the program.

 

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Transportation Nation

Thousands Sign Up for New York City Bike Share in First Hours of Registration

Monday, April 15, 2013

UPDATED. Registration for New York's bike share system officially opened at 11 am Monday, and by 3 pm, some 2500 people had signed up. By 3:30 pm Tuesday, 5000 people had purchased $103 annual memberships, according to DOT spokesman Scott Gastel.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Gun Deal; Freakonomics Names; Apes and Humanism; Jay-Z Goes to Cuba

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Deals on guns and the budget are being worked out in Washington. We get the latest. Then  Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics explains how the name you're given at birth can influence your life path and determine factors such as success in school and career opportunities. Plus: Primatologist Frans de Waal talks about what apes teach us about humanism; Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations puts the Jay-Z/Beyoncé Cuba trip in context; and an update on the city's bike share program.

 

Transportation Nation

New Yorkers: Meet Your Bike Share Station Map

Thursday, April 04, 2013

(Click for interactive map)

New Yorkers, meet your Citi Bike station locations. Even more closely placed than your neighborhood Starbucks. Beginning next month, you'll be able to pick up and drop off bikes from Central Park South to Barclays Center. Annual members will get 45 minutes of free riding, daily members 30 minutes.

The New York City Department of Transportation has released an interactive map showing the draft locations of 293 stations located across Manhattan (below Central Park) and across a swath of Brooklyn through Fort Greene. (That 293  is down a bit from last year's projected launch of 420 stations.) Gray dots show the location of future docking stations. The DOT's website says it will "continue to work with New Yorkers to refine these station locations."

The system, which is scheduled to launch next month, will eventually grow to 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations around the city. It's being operated by Alta Bike Share and funded by Citibank.

The city's bike share program was to have originally launched last year, but a one-two punch of software trouble followed by Sandy flooding knocked it back to May 2013.

To see detailed maps of stations at the community level, click here.

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Transportation Nation

LaHood: The Next Secretary Won't Stand on the Table At Bike Confab

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Secretary Ray LaHood at the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC (Photo: US DOT)

It was a wistful good-bye for transportation secretary Ray LaHood at the 2013 National Bike Summit.

The Secretary, who began with a low-profile that he quickly raised in the biking community by, among other things, jumping on a table at the 2010 Bike Summit Meeting to promote bikes, gave a long a loving paean to his administration's efforts to promote bike share, bike lanes, and safe biking.

"I guarantee you this," LaHood said, close to the beginning of his speech. "Whoever my successor is. You'll not have a secretary of transportation stand on the table and speak to you, that will never happen again."

"Since he was appointed in 2009, LaHood has been a true believer in the power of biking and has raised the credibility of bicycles as transportation at the federal level," the League wrote in its blog. “Ray LaHood is the first and only transportation secretary that keeps talking about bikes — even after we’ve left  the room,” said League President Andy Clarke.

"The President recently told me that he ran into someone who said something about Ray LaHood,” the Secretary said in his speech. “The president said, ‘You must be a cyclist’ — and he was.”

LaHood has promoted bike share, bike lanes, and biking to work, and has argued -- often to unsympathetic former Republican colleagues in the House -- that biking should be given respectability as a mode of transportation.

For that, he'll be missed in biking circles. "What a ride these four-and-a-half years with all of you. You’ve made a great difference; you really have," LaHood told the cyclists.

To which the League replied: "Right back at you, Mr. Secretary."

 

 

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Transportation Nation

Five Lessons for Seattle Bike Share from Boston's Hubway

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Boston Hubway bike share docking station. (Photo CC by Flickr user JMazzolaa)

(Derek Wang, Seattle -- KUOWThe plan to create a bike sharing program in Seattle is clicking into a higher gear. Puget Sound Bike Share hopes to launch in 2014. Organizers updated Seattle officials Tuesday saying they hope to hire a vendor by the spring.

Initial areas for the plan include the University District, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Downtown and Queen Anne.

To get some guidance for the Seattle effort, KUOW spoke with the founder of one of the fastest-growing systems in the US, Nicole Freedman. Freedman started Boston’s program, The Hubway, which launched in 2011. It has 105 stations, more than 1,000 bicycles and 9,000 members. Members have taken about 675,000 trips; more than 500,000 of those trips were taken in the last year. Freedman is also an Olympic cyclist and has studied city planning at MIT and Stanford.

Tip 1: Choose The Right Business Model That Fits Seattle

Boston’s system is operated by a private company, but the system is owned by the city. In fact, city officials view it as part of the transit system. Right now no city money has gone toward the system. Freedman said it’s paid for by advertisements, sponsorships and grants. But as the system expands, the city might be required to spend money on maintenance and operations, like it would for any other transit system.

Seattle’s proposal is slightly different. It would be administered by a nonprofit group, but a private company would run the system’s day-to-day operations.

Tip 2: Locate The Bike Stations Close Together

During the startup phase, planners might be tempted to space out the bike stations to cover as many different neighborhoods as possible. That’s something to avoid. Freedman recommended keeping the stations between 200 to 400 meters apart.

“Let’s say I’m in a meeting in a skyscraper downtown and I have to get back to my office. If I go downstairs, out the door and the nearest station is three blocks away, it’s not worth my time to go walk three blocks, and get on a bike," she said. "If I then have another three block walk at the other end at my office, the efficiencies of saving time and using the bike are pretty much gone because of the walk time.”

[Related story: DC Bike Share Visualizer Shows How Neighborhoods Use CaBi Differently, by Clusters.]

Tip 3: Talk To Other Cities

A lot of other cities, including Washington, D.C., Denver and Chicago, have bike sharing programs. Other cities, such as Vancouver, B.C., Portland and San Francisco are still in the planning phases. Freedman says those cities have already done a lot of the groundwork and Seattle could benefit from looking at those different experiences.

[Related: San Francisco Poised to Pick Alta to Run Bike Share.]
Tip 4: Don’t Be Discouraged By Reports Of Hardware And Software Problems

Some systems have had problems with bikes and the software that operates the system. Freedman says Boston was lucky and never had software problems. But she says the problem occurred when one of the nation’s leading vendors switched software developers. Freedman’s point is that the problems should not discourage planners because improvements are always being made. “There’s a lot of great choices out there,” she said. “Doing the homework early will definitely ensure the best system for Seattle.”

[Related: NYC Bike Share Delayed Until Spring]


Tip 5: Think Creatively About Encouraging Membership

Boston has made it a focus to offer service in poorer neighborhoods as well as more well-to-do ones. But low-income people often don’t have credit cards, which are required to become a member. Freedman said in Boston, they’re looking at social service agencies and the possibility that those groups could sponsor people looking to get a credit card.

Freedman has visited Seattle before and seemed excited about the prospects of a bike sharing program in the city. “I can guarantee that it’s going to be a huge success in  Seattle,” she said. “It’s a great city. You’ve got a great culture of people that want to be biking.”

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Transportation Nation

DC Bike Share Visualizer Shows How Neighborhoods Use CaBi Differently

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Washington, D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare released its latest batch of customer trip data -- and the fine folks at Mobility Lab turned it into an interactive map. What's interesting about this visualizer is that it sorts trips by neighborhood cluster.

Instead of seeing all the trips everywhere -- which is beautiful --  you can see how a given station connects to the areas around it. The more rides between two stations, the thicker the red line. Click on most downtown stations and it looks like a starburst of rides.

Trips on the National Mall tend to stay on the National Mall or head over the Jefferson Memorial.

Bike Share trips on the National Mall, Washington D.C. 4th Quarter, 2012.

Mobility Lab has also set the map so you see the direction of trips, including "unbalancedness" between stations. That's when trips tend to be in one direction more than another. It's not so surprising that more people ride downhill on Connecticut Avenue from the Van Ness station to Dupont Circle. But it is interesting to see how many more people ditch the heavy bike share bikes at the bottom and return by some other, presumably less tiring, means. Of the 203 trips between those two stations in the 4th quarter of 2012, 82 percent of them were downhill.

(Read TN's article on how DC rebalances bike share stations here.)

Trips from Van Ness bike share station in 4th quarter 2012

Michael Schade over at Mobility Lab has pulled out a few more interesting data points. Alexandria, Virginia, joined CaBi last year. Most of those bike share trips appear to be heading to or from the two Metro stations.  So Schade concludes bike share in Alexandria is being used to solve a last-mile transit problem.

See his full analyses and more maps here.

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Transportation Nation

Your Guide to Biking to the Inauguration

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

(photo by Martin DiCaro)

No matter your mode of transportation to the second inauguration of President Barack Obama you will have to do a lot of walking, as D.C.'s police force will establish a large “hard perimeter” around the parade route closed to vehicular travel and bicycles. (A map of the restricted area is here.)

Before you begin to hoof it, however, the easiest way to get close to the National Mall may be on a bicycle.  Bicycling advocates expect thousands of people to pedal into downtown D.C. on Monday morning, and DDOT is taking steps to accommodate them.

For starters, there will be a large bicycle parking area established at 16th Street and I Street NW starting at 7 a.m.

“That’s going to hold about 700 bikes but you are going to want to bring your own lock.  It’s not valet parking but it will be supervised all day,” said DDOT planner Jim Sebastian.

As for Capital Bikeshare, there will be two special docking areas – corrals – that will accept an unlimited number of bikes: at Farragut Square in Northwest and at the USDA building at 12th Street and Independence Avenue Southwest.

“It’s essentially a bottomless station where you can come down and not have to worry about there being an empty space,” Sebastian said.

Starting today six bike share stations along the inaugural parade route will be temporarily dismantled. To make up for the closed stations, CaBi will open a temporary corral to accept bikes. You can see the list here.

For bicycling advocates, Monday presents an opportunity to show how much progress D.C. has made in becoming a bike-friendly city.

"This is going to be the first year that we have bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue during an inauguration, so President Obama is going to be riding down Pennsylvania Ave. and those bike lanes are going to be in all those photos,” said Greg Billing at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. “This is a great time for us to show off to the nation that D.C. is a bike city and that we are setting an example that other cities around the country can follow.”

Remember the kerfuffle over bike share stations on the National Mall? Take a trip to March 2012 here.

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Transportation Nation

DC's Capital Bikeshare Expanding by 30 Percent

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(photo by Kevin Kovaleski/DDOTDC via flickr)

Washington, D.C. will add 513 bikes to Capital Bikeshare this winter, expanding the nation's largest operating bike share program by more than 30 percent.

The move was planned for the fall, but the Capital Bikeshare's operator, Alta, faced a shortage of equipment.
District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle told Transportation Nation the 54 new stations will add docking spaces for 1,026 bikes. "You want about 50 percent of your docks on the street filled with bikes. That's kind of the ratio that we aim for," he said.

Lisle said there are 1,645 bikes on the streets now at in 2,524 docks, at 191 stations. Some stations have as many as 30 docks, and during special events, far more.

Balance is crucial to a well-functioning bike share program. So central, in fact, that employees of CaBi who shift bikes from location to location to meet demand are called rebalancers.

The proposed locations for the new stations, which you can view on this map (or see the below list) come in a mix of new neighborhoods and existing bike share neighborhoods. “We need to balance the desire to expand into new areas with the need for more docks and bikes in existing areas, particularly downtown, where demand is heaviest,” said Chris Holben, DDOT Project Manager for Capital Bikeshare, in an emailed statement. “Basically, for every ‘expansion’ station we also need more spaces downtown to keep up with demand.”

Capital Bikeshare has been been struggling to keep up with demand. It's expanded to the Virginia suburbs, and one Maryland county just voted to join. All 54 of the new docks will go inside the District.

Despite the popularity, CaBi loses money, although the program operates close to profitability. DDOT foots the bill, and pays Alta to operate the program. The additions mean DDOT will increase what it pays Alta as operator but could potentially earn more if it means more members sign up. DDOT spokesman John Lisle did not share projections for how the expansion might impact potential profitability.

"We are in the process of selling advertising on the stations, which should help on the revenue side," he said. "Installations most likely will be after the inauguration" on January 21st, Lisle said.

Alta is the same company that operates bike share programs in Chicago, and is contracted to launch programs in New York and Portland. Those programs have also suffered from delays.
 
First Round
 
1
18th Street and Wyoming Avenue NW
2
11th Street and M Street NW
3
14th Street and Clifton Street/ Boys and Girls Club NW
4
15th Street and Euclid Street NW
5
20th Street and Virginia Avenue NW
6
Ellington Bridge, SE corner NW
7
Elm Street and 2nd Street (LeDroit Park) NW
8
New Jersey Avenue and R Street NW
9
Hiatt Place between Park and Irving NW
10
13th Street and U Street NW
11
17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue/JHU NW
12
5th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW
13
8th Street and D Street NW
14
11th Street and Florida Avenue NW
15
11th Street and K Street NW
16
L'Enfant Plaza at Independence Ave SW
17
11th Street and F Street NW
18
23rd Street and W.H.O. NW
19
Constitution Ave and 21st Street NW
20
34th Street and Water Street NW
21
Connecticut and Nebraska Avenues NW
22
Connecticut Ave and Albemarle St NW
23
O Street and Wisconsin Ave (east) NW
24
Wisconsin Ave and Fessenden St NW
25
Wisconsin Ave and Veazy Street NW
26
14th Street and Upshur Street NW
27
14th Street and Colorado Avenue NW
28
5th Street and Kennedy Street NW
29
Georgia Ave and Decatur Street NW
30
V Street and Rhode Island Ave at Summit Place NE
31
2nd Street and M Street NE
32
Hamlin Street and 7th Street NE
33
12th Street and Irving Street NE
34
Neal Street and Trinidad Avenue NE
35
Rhode Island Ave Metro entrance NE
36
18th Street and Rhode Island Ave NE
37
8th Street and F Street NE
38
Pennsylvania Ave and 3rd Street SE
39
8th Street and East Capitol Street NE
40
15th Street and East Capitol Street NE
41
Independence and Washington/HHS SW
42
Constitution Ave and 2nd St/DOL NW
43
6th Street and Indiana Avenue NW
44
New Jersey Avenue and D Street SE
45
15th St, F St and Tennessee Ave NE
46
9th Street and M Street SE
47
Tingey Street and 3rd Street SE
48
Deanwood Rec Center and Library NE
49
Burroughs Avenue and 49th Street NE
50
Burroughs Ave and Minnesota Ave NE
51
Minnesota/34th Street and Ely Place SE
52
Alabama Avenue and Stanton Road SE
53
MLK, Jr. Ave and Alabama Ave SE
54
MLK, Jr. Ave and Pleasant Street SE
 
Next Round
 
55
MLK, Jr. Ave and St. E's Gate 5 SE
56
14th Street and Fairmont Street NW
57
18th Street and C Street NW
58
L'Enfant Plaza at Banneker Circle SW
59
G Street at MLK Library NW
60
Wisconsin Ave and Ingomar Street NW
61
Brandywine St and Wisconsin Ave NW
62
Connecticut Ave and Porter Street NW
63
O Street and Wisconsin Ave (west) NW
64
Massachusetts Ave and 48th Street NW
65
Van Buren Street and Rec Center NW
66
Ft Totten Metro Station NW
67
Cedar Street underpass (Takoma) NW
68
Piney Branch Rd and Georgia Ave NW
69
1st Street and K Street NE
70
Rhode Island Ave and Franklin St NE
71
18th Street and Monroe Street NE
72
New Jersey Avenue and L Street NW
73
Haines Point Rec Center SW
74
2nd Street and V Street SW
75
Burroughs and Division Avenues NE
76
Ely Place and Ft. Dupont Ice Rink SE
77
16th Street and Minnesota Ave SE
78
MLK, Jr. Ave and St E's Gate 1 SE

 

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Transportation Nation

Bike Share Coming to Portland -- When Alta Finds a Sponsor

Friday, December 14, 2012

(photo by gregraisman via flickr)

(Rob Manning -- Portland, OR, OPB) Portland's city council approved bike share -- but funding it is largely the responsibility of hometown operator Alta.

The one-year projected cost to set up and run the 750-bike, 75 station bike share program is $6.5 million dollars. Of that, $1.8 million is federal money awarded through the city.

Filling that gap – and finding sponsorship revenue into the future – is up to the contractor, Alta Bicycle Share.

The company’s head, Mia Birk, says that’s like the contract her company has with New York City, but it’s different from agreements with other cities.

Birk says she is excited to start bike-sharing in her hometown of Portland. "But it is a big responsibility on us, and that’s going to be a challenge. Portland is not the same as New York City, does not have the deep-pocket companies and the media value that New York has with the density of population and activities. So I see it as a challenge – I like challenges, I’m excited about it – but I’m also cautious."

To read the whole story, head over to OPB.

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