Laying the Base for Public Bicycle Sharing in Penang

As we are seeing in these pages Penang in general and Georgetown in particular Penang bike graffitiare giving serious attention to the possibility of creating a public bicycle system for the city. As a first step they have issued a Request for Proposals which is shortly to come online. This is a great thing because there are many reasons to create conditions for safe and agreeable cycling on city streets across the state.

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A 21st Century New Mobility Project

new yorker cover page bikes - girl onlyThe City of New York after something like four years of looking, envying, cogitating, visiting, copying, adapting, hoping, planning, protesting, hesitating, adapting, postponing, innovating, negotiating,  and finally getting the job done is about to open its doors for the grand opening of its new bike share project, Citi Bike.

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Weekend musing: Cycling your mind

One of the main strategic underpinnings of New Mobility Agenda, and certainly of everything that appears here in World Streets, is that if we are ever to reinvent transportation in our cities, as we so badly need to do, we must in the process free ourselves from our old ways of seeing, thinking and doing things. For example, when you think “bicycle” . . .

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Learning from Lyon: Free Public Transport that really works

Here is a “free transport project” that is working remarkably well: In the Spring of 2005 the community of Greater Lyon in cooperation with their supplier JCDecaux launched the world’s first mega Public Bike System, Vélo’v. The project put some 3000 bikes into service, available in about 300 stations spread for the most part over the City of Lyon. All this is successful, amply detailed in many places and continues to this day to yield yeoman service for some 60,000 registered users (including the author). To gain access to the system, in addition to one day or one week tickets, the user pays an annual fee of € 25, and when using a bike a caution is debited from the users credit card until it is returned to a parking slot. From a user perspective it is a very successful system and use experience.

* But where is the “free public transport” element?

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Public Bikesharing in North America

NEW REPORT: Public bikesharing—the shared use of a bicycle fleet—is an innovative transportation strategy that has recently emerged in major North American cities. Information technology (IT)-based bikesharing systems typically position bicycles throughout an urban environment, among a network of docking stations, for immediate access. Trips can be one-way, round-trip, or both, depending on the operator. Bikesharing can serve as both a first-and-last mile (connector to other modes) and a many-mile solution.  Continue reading

New York’s New Bike-Sharing Plan is a Model for the Country

A city known for its sea of yellow taxis and crowded streets, New York is becoming a place no one thought was possible: bikeable.

New York City is at the tipping point of becoming one of the world’s great bicycling cities. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the New York City Department of Transportation (DoT) have done a tremendous job creating a more bicycle-friendly New York. According to the DoT, commuter cycling increased by 13% between 2009 and 2010. In the last five years, bicycle ridership has doubled.

A city known for its sea of yellow taxis and crowded streets, New York City is becoming a town no one thought was possible. With this bike share plan, New York City will transform itself into the nation’s top bicycling city. All eyes will be on us to see if the program succeeds or fails. Bike sharing is such an important change, and change is always challenging. But this will be a game-changer for NYC; get ready for it.

* * * Click here for article.

Bike-Sharing: 2011 State of the European Union report

As regular readers of World Streets by now know well, we consider bicycles as the mine canaries of sustainable transport and sustainable cities. When you can hear them singing, everything is going pretty much in the right direction. But silence or absence, and hey you are in deep trouble. As part of our long-term watching brief under our free-for-all World City Bike Collaborative since 2005, we try to keep track of what is going on both at the leading and the lagging edge with both bikes and infrastructure, and public bicycle systems, in all parts of the world, from China and Africa, to Paris and Portland. Continue reading

Bike-Share Thriving in Africa

Bike sharing, despite all that is going on world wide in many places, is still very much a new concept that still harbors many unknowns. Including  a very wide range of “business plans” as needed to get them started and keep them going. Associate editor, Gail Jennings, reports on how bike sharing looks from an African perspective. Continue reading

Hangzhou – View from the saddle of one of China’s most liveable cities.

While Paris and London hog the world’s media attention with Boris’ Bikes and the Velib, by some accounts the Chinese city of Hangzhou now boasts the world’s largest and most used public shared bicycle system. Rory McMullan, contributing editor, reports on his impressions of the city, its transport network and the public bike system from an on-street carbon-free visit during the Chinese New Year.


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Sharing: Humankind’s oldest technology is ready for a comeback

Long before automobiles and even science humankind discovered sharing tools, housing, roads, and wharfs, a natural way to reduce scarce labour and materials. And long before Adam Smith, we used the “profit” from such sharing to develop specialized skills and knowledge, both of which required sharing, and to build shared infrastructure. Now that we face rising prices for resources, thanks to looming shortages and better understanding of “externalities,” we need to face the prospect of putting on the brakes of our rush to individual consumption. Do we do without or do we share in ways that increase, rather than, reduce, our quality of life? Continue reading

Cycling as the catalyst for more human and sustainable transport

The interest for a human and sustainable transport is growing in the public and private sector, at local, national and global level.  Our cities and our planet cannot rely on cars for our transport needs, even if they become more energy-efficient or even carbon neutral. We have to create accessibility for people. With current planning and design, roads are isolating people from important destinations.  The public domain should be designed with priority for people over motorised traffic.  Apart from emission reduction, mobility with zero emission should get value. It is the combination of a human-rights-based orientation with eco-efficiency, that will direct us to a real sustainable transport system. Continue reading

Kaohsiung 2010 Papers: Share/Transport in India – Threats, Challenges, Opportunities

Sharing is an inherently natural process of establishing a joint use of resources It is a primarily self-initiated and regulated process. In this regard share transport can be seen as an informal, unregulated or loosely regulated, low-cost (even works on micro credit, when loose change is unavailable to complete the transaction), small or medium scale sharing of transport infrastructure (such as roads, streets and spaces) and/or vehicles in time and/or space. Sharing of Transport in this format, across the Indian Sub-continent and indeed many other developing countries in South-East Asia, has always been a part of the informal public transport network and is mostly as old as the city itself. Continue reading

1-minute movies

If you click today to the home page of the 2010 Kaohsiung Conference of the World Share/Transport Forum at, you will see that the organizers have just this morning added the first of an intended new cycle of “1-minute movies” by way of livening up the conference preparations and as a quick introduction to the concepts of sharing in transport as a sustainability strategy. We have long been proponents of the imaginative use of media of all sorts to get the messages of sustainable development and social justice out to a world that is for the most part more puzzled than antagonistic. Continue reading

Kaohsiung 2010: The Third Way of getting around in cities

Share/transport — the largely uncharted middle ground of low-carbon, high-impact, available-now mobility options that span the broad range that runs between the long dominant poles of “private transport” (albeit on public roads) and “mass transport” (scheduled, fixed-route, usually deficit-financed public services) at the two extremes. The third way of getting around in cities? Come to Kaohsiung in September and let’s talk about sharing. Continue reading

The Guardian comes to visit Paris and Vélib’

In the context of the start-up of London’s long-awaited public bicycle project next week, the British daily, The Guardian, sent reporter Leo Hickman to meet with the London start-up team, and then arranged for him to spend  a day with us in Paris talking about and riding the Vélib’. It just so happened that his visit corresponded with the third anniversary of Vélib’, so you editor was pleased to have this chance to compare notes. You have here the main text of his article in today’s Guardian, but for the full story and photographs, let us point you to the original here

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Il bike sharing in Italia: un’istantanea del 2010. (This is a W/S language laboratory experiment)

You may have noticed that the first half of the title of this journal is the word “World”, and that to us carries a real obligation. If we bear in mind that there are barely five hundred million of us who use English more or less easily as our daily working language, that leaves something like six billion who do not. Oops. So if we feel any commitment at all to be true to that first half of our title, this is clearly something we have to figure out.

Figure out with a little help from our friends, fortunately, in this case Google Translate. So this first “language lab” experiment will be in cooperation with our excellent Italian sister publication Nuova Mobilità, from whom we have selected a recent article that we know will be of interest to many of our readers — and then to turn it over to you so that, if you wish, the full text will be accessible to you in an operational if not quite Shakespearian English (or more than a dozen other languages of your choice), with a single click. And oh yes, the topic is our report on bicycle sharing in Italy. But of course you already figured that one out.

And once you have an opportunity to review both the substance of the article and to organize your thoughts as to the usefulness of this kind of translation, it would be great to hear from you. This you can do either by posting your comments to the editor at or alternatively clicking the Comment button at the end of this article to post them directly here.

- – > Now all you have to do is to click here for full text of the article in English.

[Not happy with the quality of the language as it appears? Two quick points then if I may: First, may I suggest that you think of this as an opportunity to learn from a person who is highly knowledgeable on the subject but who does not fully master your language? Would you still wish to listen to such a person on that subject? Second, let's not forget that this is still work in progress, and if you had been following it for the last few years you would note enormous, steady improvement. So stay tuned, it will get steadily better and your patience will be rewarded. But at the end of the day, it's your choice.

Note: The Google Translate tool in the top left column for now works only to translate our articles from English to the other indicated languages. ]

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Da Giorgio Ceccarelli riceviamo questo interessante report sul bike sharing in Italia: molte cose sembrano essersi mosse negli ultimi anni e molto resta ancora da fare per raggiungere una qualità di servizio paragonabile a quella di altri paesi europei. Le difficoltà che incontrano i servizi di biciclette pubbliche in Italia sono conseguenti anche alle particolari caratteristiche demografiche del nostro paese, oltre che alla mancanza di scelte politiche coerenti.

Il bike sharing in Italia
Giorgio Ceccarelli

Attualmente in Italia sono attivi circa 130 sistemi di bike sharing con una prevalenza nei Comuni del Nord e del Centro rispetto al Sud.In particolare le regioni in cui si rileva una maggiore presenza del bike sharing sono:
Emilia Romagna (19) – Piemonte (16) – Veneto (15) – Lombardia (13). Seguono Marche, Puglia, Liguria e tutte le altre regioni, escluse Campania, Calabria e Basilicata.
(fonte: relazione dell’Ing. Lorenzo Bertuccio al Congresso del Club delle Città per il Bike Sharing – Milano, ottobre 2009)

Questa quantificazione tiene conto soltanto dei sistemi di bike sharing evoluti (che possono essere definiti di terza generazione) e non considera i casi del tutto riconducibili al tradizionale noleggio, quale è ad esempio quello di Bolzano.

A loro volta questi 130 sistemi possono essere suddivisi in due tipologie:

  • meccanici a chiave
  • a scheda magnetica.

Nel primo caso l’utilizzatore deve acquisire tramite uno sportello una chiave che inserita nel posteggio libera la bici e lo identifica; la bici dovrà essere riconsegnata, senza particolari limiti di orario, nello stesso stallo per poter ritirare la chiave.

I sistemi a chiave sono in genere gratuiti e permettono l’utilizzo delle bici in città diverse con la stessa chiave.

I sistemi a scheda magnetica invece permettono la riconsegna in un qualunque altro posteggio e soprattutto permettono, mediante la regolazione tariffaria, di incentivare l’uso della bici per un breve periodo, in modo da riconsegnarla e permetterne l’utilizzo ad un altro utente: quindi poche bici per tante persone.

I sistemi a scheda magnetica inoltre hanno la possibilità di registrazioni tramite internet e di pagamento tramite carta di credito o telefoni portatili; sono inoltre i sistemi che, come vedremo, aprono le nuove prospettive dell’integrazione tariffaria tra i vari sistemi di trasporto.

In tutti i Comuni che utilizzano la scheda magnetica, esclusa Roma, la tariffa prevede la prima mezz’ora di utilizzo gratuito, con le successive ore a pagamento via via aumentato, fino a prevedere dei veri e propri blocchi dell’abbonamento se si superano le quattro ore di utilizzo, come è previsto ad esempio a Milano

L’utilizzo dell’una o dell’altra tipologia di bike sharing in Italia dipende in pratica dalla divisione del mercato tra due sole aziende fornitrici:

  • C’entro in bici per il sistema a chiave
  • Bicincittà per il sistema a scheda.

Su circa 130 sistemi attivi ad oggi 2/3 sono chiave e 1/3 a scheda, con una distribuzione territoriale molto legata alla localizzazione d’origine e alla conseguente penetrazione commerciale delle due aziende fornitrici.

C’entro in bici che ha sede a Ravenna è prevalente nelle zone dell’Emilia e del Veneto, mentre Bicincittà è di Torino e ha la prevalenza nel Nord Ovest; Bicincittà è inoltre presente anche sul mercato internazionale con i sistemi di Pamplona e Losanna.

Questa forma di duopolio legato a una partizione territoriale tra sistemi tecnicamente diversi è sintomo di come il bike sharing in Italia sia ancora giovane e debba ancora evolvere verso una molteplicità di offerta caratteristica di un mercato più maturo.

Unica eccezione a questa partizione rigida del mercato fra due aziende, ciascuna con la propria differente tecnologia, è rappresentata dal Comune di Milano, che utilizza il sistema sviluppato dalla società americana Clear Channel.

Milano è attualmente il sistema italiano di maggiori dimensioni: denominato BIKEMI, è stato inaugurato nel Novembre 2008, prevede 1.300 bici distribuite su circa 100 stazioni ed è economicamente basato sul sistema di concessione di spazi pubblicitari in cambio dell’attivazione e gestione del servizio da parte di Clear Channel.

Dato il successo registrato da BIKEMI, che ha quasi raggiunto il livello di saturazione rispetto agli utenti previsti, è in progetto la sua estensione fuori dalla Cerchia dei Bastioni, arrivando a toccare nodi ferro viari periferici e poli universita ri: in totale 170 nuove stazioni a 33 stalli e un parco di 5.000 bici clette

Sono però emersi problemi tra l’Amministrazione e la ditta appaltatrice, legati soprattutto al tema economico degli introiti pubblicitari, che in qualche modo stanno rallentando il previsto sviluppo del sistema.

Una nota particolare meritano i sistemi di Genova e Siracusa in quanto rappresentano in assoluto le prime esperienze di utilizzo di biciclette a pedalata assistita su veri e propri sistemi di bike sharing, mentre già se ne potevano trovare su tradizionali ciclonoleggi.

Il sistema di Genova, inaugurato nell’Aprile 2009, è denominato MOBIKE, dispone di 55 bici distribuite su 6 stazioni ed è stato realizzato grazie a un contributo del Ministero per l’Ambiente a favore della mobilità elettrica. E’ realizzato e gestito direttamente da Bicincittà.

L’utilizzo delle biciclette assistite può essere indicato in una città come Genova che presenta molte parti collinari, anche se le postazioni realizzate ad oggi, collocate lungo l’arco del vecchio porto e nelle zone centrali, presentano un dislivello fra loro inferiore a 50 metri, decisamente accettabile anche per una bici tradizionale.

L’utilizzo del bike sharing genovese risulta comunque fortemente penalizzato dalla quasi totale mancanza di percorsi protetti per le bici.

Analogamente il sistema di Siracusa, aperto poco dopo Genova, si basa sulla tecnologia di Bicincittà e utilizza un finanziamento dato dal Ministero per l’Ambiente in occasione del G8.

Il sistema è in questo caso di tipo misto con la previsione a regime di 200 bici tradizionali e 50 assistite, distribuite su 15 stazioni.

Tra i sistemi di cui si attende una prossima apertura è da segnalare quello di Torino, la cui inaugurazione è prevista nel Giugno 2010.

Dopo due gare andate deserte, l’ultima gara di appalto è stata vinta da Bicincittà che avrà la gestione di spazi pubblicitari in cambio di un sistema, denominato ToBike, che prevede 1200 bici su oltre 100 stazioni: si tratta finalmente di un progetto di grande impatto che dovrebbe coprire una parte importante della città.

In attesa dell’apertura di Torino, il bike sharing di Milano si può ritenere ad oggi l’unico sistema che in Italia sia numericamente paragonabile con le grandi realizzazioni europee: tutte le altre città presentano numeri di bici o di postazioni nettamente inferiori.

In particolare, con riferimento al numero di biciclette previste, i sistemi in Italia numericamente più consistenti dopo Milano sono:

  • Brescia (200)
  • Ravenna (140)
  • La Spezia (135)
  • Bergamo (120)
  • Trento (88)

Rapportando il numero di bici al numero di abitanti, tra i migliori rapporti risultano:

  • Modena (1/900)
  • Milano (1/1.000)
  • Cuneo (1/1.100)

Siamo dunque ben lontani da valori tali da rappresentare un significativo contributo alla mobilità urbana, come quelli che troviamo ad esempio in grandi città francesi quali Parigi (1/100) o Lione (1/160).

In generale quindi l’Italia si caratterizza per un elevato numero di sistemi prevalentemente di piccolissima dimensione.

Nella tabella seguente il dato italiano è confrontato con quello di Francia e Germania:

Si può inoltre ragionevolmente supporre che questa tendenza aumenterà nei prossimi anni con il prevedibile estendersi dell’interesse per il bike sharing nelle città del Centro e del Sud.

La diffusione di sistemi di piccolissima dimensione è una tipicità italiana che può dipendere dalla conformazione del nostro territorio, caratterizzato da una urbanizzazione diffusa, con molte città medie o piccole.

Le dimensioni limitate delle città probabilmente non consentono di innescare livelli di redditività tali da consentire la realizzazione da parte di privati di sistemi di bike sharing in cambio della concessione di spazi pubblicitari, come invece avviene altrove.

Ne deriva quindi la necessità da parte delle Amministrazioni locali di rivolgersi quasi esclusivamente a fondi pubblici con la conseguenza di avere finanziamenti limitati, tempi incerti e prospettive non sicure circa il mantenimento del servizio.

Non è da sottovalutare inoltre l’ostacolo alla creazione di sistemi numericamente importanti rappresentato dalla arretratezza italiana nella realizzazione di infrastrutture ciclabili.

Spesso nelle nostre città i percorsi ragionevolmente fattibili in bici si riducono a poche aree centrali in cui solo le zone 30 o le zone pedonali consentono di muoversi con un minimo di sicurezza.

Lo sviluppo del bike sharing può avvenire se coordinato con altre azioni aventi come obbiettivo la ciclabilità, così come accade se le Amministrazioni si dotano di un apposito Biciplan che, oltre al bike sharing, preveda percorsi, facilitazioni per chi va in bici quali rastrelliere o scivoli, promozione e informazione, manutenzione dell’esistente.

Ad oggi in Italia sono pochi gli studi o le ricerche sul fenomeno del bike sharing e non esiste una approfondita analisi di carattere generale su di esso.
Si muovono comunque in questo senso le iniziative di alcune Associazioni, tra cui si possono segnalare:

Il C.C.B.S. – Club delle Città del Bike Sharing, promosso da Euromobility, , l’Associazione Italiana dei Mobility Manager, a cui aderiscono oltre 30 città.

Il C.C.B.S. ha come scopo la promozione del bike sharing e organizza annualmente un convegno in cui viene presentato il report aggiornato delle situazione in Italia, costituendo al momento la visione più complessiva che si possa trovare.

F.I.A.B. – Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta , aderente a E.C.F. European Cyclist Federation, che promuove tra l’altro un forum di discussione dedicato al tema e la raccolta di documentazione sul bike sharing nel sito istituzionale.

Il progetto europeo OBIS – Optimising Bike Sharing in European Cities , che si propone di identificare i fattori di successo, i limiti e le potenzialità del mercato sia a livello europeo che negli otto stati che hanno aderito al progetto.

Giorgio Ceccarelli, architetto, è consigliere nazionale della Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta – FIAB e responsabile sul tema del bike sharing e delle biciclette pubbliche.
Si occupa di progettazione legata ai temi della mobilità attraverso il ridisegno e il recupero di spazi urbani e di uso collettivo, con particolare attenzione all’applicazione di metodologie partecipative.
Nell’attività rivolta alla bicicletta, oltre progetto di percorsi e alla redazione di piani comunali per la ciclabilità, ha curato il servizio di bike sharing del Comune di Genova, primo sistema realizzato con biciclette a pedalata assistita.

Vai all’elenco di post sul bike sharing

It was there all the time: Putting shared transport to work. * Share Transport 2010 – Conference in Kaohsiung, ROC *

The all but invisible (unless you were looking for it) trend behind true sustainability in the transport sector is . . . sharing. We now know that the only way to significantly reduce the CO2 load of our transportation arrangements is through corresponding reductions in motorized traffic (VMT/VKT). Which means efficiently getting more people and goods in those vehicles still plying the road. And to do this well, we need to learn a lot more about sharing.

Kaohsiung 2010 Conference plan in brief

The objective of this International Conference – the first of its kind — is to examine the concept of shared transport (as opposed to individual ownership) from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with a strong international and Chinese-speaking contingent. The goal of this event is to bring together leading thinkers and sharing transport practitioners from around Taiwan, Asia and the world, and to provide them with a high profile opportunity to share experience, perspectives, ideas, and recommendations on this important trend.

The concept of shared transport is at once old and new, formal and informal, and one that is growing very fast. However to now attention has focused on the technical details of each project and approach — as opposed to stepping back first to gain a broader understanding of the basic human, societal, and economic trends and realities behind this kind of behavior more generally.

But something important is clearly going on, and the Kaohsiung event will be looking at this carefully, in the hope of providing a broader strategic base for advancing not just the individual shared modes, but the sustainable transport agenda more broadly

Background: Sharing in the 21st century – Will it shape our cities?

After many decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern – i.e., for those who could afford it: owning and driving our own cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, getting into taxis by ourselves, riding in streets that are designed for cars and not much else — there is considerable evidence accumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing the transportation landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership. But strange to say, this trend seems to have escaped the attention of the policymakers in many of the institutions directly concerned.

Largely ignored by the transport policy establishment perhaps but transport sharing is an important trend, one that is already starting to reshape at least parts of some of our cities. It is a movement at the leading edge of our most successful (and wealthiest and livable) cities — not just a watered down or second-rate transport option for the poor.

With this in view, we are setting out to come together to examine not just the qualities (and limitations) of individual shared mobility modes, but also to put this in the broader context of why people share. And why they do not. And in the process to stretch our minds to consider what is needed to move toward a new environment in which people often share rather than necessarily only doing things on their own when it comes to moving around in our cities worldwide.

As a contribution to international understanding in this fast emerging but largely unexplored field, the city of Kaohsiung is organizing, together with an international team from the Chinese Institute of Transport (CIT), the Global New Mobility Project, Megatrans Taiwan, and National Taiwan University, a three-day international conference and brainstorming session to take place from 16 – 18 September 2010, in which a number of people working at the leading edge of these matters will come together, first to examine together the general concept of sharing in the 21st century. And then, once this broader frame and understanding has been established, go on to consider how sharing as an organizational principle is working out in each of the individual mobility modes which are rapidly gaining force in cities around the world.

Sharing in Transport (Quick introduction)

Below is our latest list of the shared transport modes to be considered by the conference. (This list to be prioritized, pruned and consolidated as useful for the conference. Only selected topics will be covered by the formal sessions.)

1. Bikesharing
2. Carsharing (includes both formal and informal arrangements
3. Fleetsharing
4. Ridesharing (carpools, van pools, hitchhiking – organized and informal).
5. Taxi sharing
6. Shared Parking
7. Truck/van sharing (combined delivery, other)
8. Streetsharing 1 (example: BRT streets shared between buses, cyclists, taxis, emergency vehicles)
9. Streetsharing 2 (streets used by others for other (non-transport) reasons as well.)
10. Public space sharing
11. Work place sharing (neighborhood telework centers; virtual offices; co-workplace; hoteling)
12. Sharing SVS (small vehicle systems: DRT, shuttles, community buses, etc.)
13. Cost sharing
14. Time sharing
15. Successful integration of public transport within a shared transport city? Including bus and rail
16. Team sharing
17. Knowledge-sharing (including this conference)

Initial conference details (to be finalized)

Event: Three day international conference and planning workshops

Dates: 16-18 September 2010.

Theme: “It was there all the time: Putting shared transport to work in our cities”

Location: City of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC

Hosts: City of Kaohsiung, with support of the Chinese Institute of Transport and National Taiwan University

• Presenting the leading edge of thinking, policy and practice in this fast emerging field.
• Panel of distinguished international speakers will be joined by Taiwanese and Chinese leaders

• Researchers, city administration, activists, NGOs, students, media, and suppliers to the sector
• From Taiwan, China, South-East Asia and all other interested

Participant questionnaire:
Each participant is invited to fill out a short questionnaire prior to registration, to help the organizers structure the conference and in particular the breakout sessions on the various share modes to serve the needs of the group better. Comments and suggestions are also welcomed, and the organizers commit to answering your communications and questions.

Call for papers: (To follow.)

Poster sessions invitations: (To follow.)

Other events in planning stages:
There are several other closely related events that are to be integrated into the program. While final details are not yet available, but here are several of the events that are presently under discussion:

1. Integrating the meeting with the 2010 Kaohsiung Car Free Day (the seventh in their series since 2003)
2. Ditto for a New Mobility Week presently under discussions.
3. A possible New Mobility Master Class (again focusing on Kaohsiung)
4. Working links to the Taipei Low Carbon Cities program
5. Kids Sharing Channel (Open school project)
6. University Media project:
7. A guided tour program for visitors taking them to key sharing and new mobility projects and cities in both Taiwan and the PRC.

Language: Chinese/English. Full translation of all sessions

Sponsors: Under discussion. Both private and public sector partners being invited to participate.

Conference venue: Garden Villa Kaohsiung –

Media: The program will be media rich, all the way through from using the latest Web, internet, videoconferencing and virtual presence technologies, to extensive use of film and videos to provide a higher impact and more rapid understanding of the principles. Goal is to share conference freely and broadly.

For further information: Contact details just below.

Why Kaohsiung?

The city of Kaohsiung is taking this initiative because it realizes that most of our cities need new thinking and new approaches to resolving the insufficiencies of our present transportation arrangements, theirs included. The city is putting new ideas and real resources into their transport challenges. They have has already introduced one of the first shared bike projects in Asia, are looking into taxi-sharing, have been celebrating Car Free Days since 2003, and are building cycling infrastructure at a steady pace. Carsharing is a new idea for Kaohsiung and visitors will be able to see how they are approaching it as one more shared transport option.

The city has a spanking new metro, but the transport means of choice for about two thirds of all trips is the South Asian special, motorized two wheelers. There is something about “seeing the future” as you observe this striking pattern on the street, and it pushes the mind to consider how to come to grips wiht this new and largely unmapped phenomenon.

So when you come to Kaohsiung for the conference in September, you will also be able to take advantage of a two day new mobility tour of the city’s transportation arrangements, challenges and plans for the future. Planners and policy makers from cities around the world are going to recognize a lot of what they see in Kaohsiung.

The conference materials pack will contain extensive background on and leads to further information on each of these topic areas. To be made available before the meeting convenes.

The conference address is

For more, contact:

For Chinese media, participation, sponsor and administrative contacts:
Susan Lin, Project Leader
Mega Trans International Corporation
Hansheng East Road
Banciao City Taipei County 22066 Taiwan Tel. +886 922 661 235

For meeting logistics, overall organization and UK contacts:
Rory McMullan, Project Manager
PTRC Education and Research Services Ltd.
1 Vernon Mews, Vernon Street,
W14 0RL United Kingdom Tel. +44 (0) 20 7348 1970 Skype: roryer

For matters relating to content, ACOST, speakers, jury and moderating
Eric Britton, Program Chair:
New Mobility Partnerships
The Commons/EcoPlan international
Le Frêne, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara. 75006 Paris, France Tel. +331 4326 1323 Skype: newmobility

Guest editorial: What to do when public transportation fails

Recently the city of Philadelphia, experienced a six day long strike by the local transit authority, SEPTA. Subways and buses stopped operating only hours before the Monday morning rush hour leaving workers scrambling for alternative modes of transportation to get to the office.

- Submitted by Timothy Ericson, CityRyde, Philidelphia, PA USA

The strike also left many school aged children stranded and unable to attend classes. Even non-transit riders were frustrated with huge increases in vehicular traffic on all of the city’s roads and hiways. During the strike period, bicycle ridership skyrocketed in Philadelphia as it was the only option for many commuters to reach their destinations. The strike forced many residents to view the bicycle as a primary form of transportation.

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Sixteen practical things you can start to do today to combat climate change, get around in style & meet some nice people

After many decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern (i.e., old mobility) — there is considerable evidence accumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing the transportation landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership. An important pattern that is thus far escaping notice at the top.

“On the whole, you find wealth more in use than in ownership.”
- Aristotle. ca. 350 BC

Sharing in the 21st century. Will it shape our cities?

After many decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern – i.e., for those who could afford it: owning and driving our own cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, getting into taxis by ourselves, riding in streets that are designed for cars and not much else (i.e., old mobility) — there is considerable evidence accumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing the transportation landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership. But strange to say, this trend seems to have escaped the attention of the policymakers in many of the places and institutions directly concerned.

However transport sharing is an important trend, one that is already starting to reshape at least parts of some of our cities. It is a movement at the leading edge of our most successful (and often wealthiest and most livable) cities — not just a watered down or second-rate transport option for the poor. With this in view, we are setting out to examine not just the qualities (and limitations) of individual shared mobility modes, but also to put this in the broader context of why people share. And why they do not. And in the process to stretch our minds to consider what is needed to move toward a new environment in which people often share rather than necessarily only doing things on their own when it comes to moving around in our cities worldwide.

Sixteen sharing options you may wish to give some thought to:

1. Bikesharing

2. Carsharing (formal and informal)

3. Fleetsharing

4. Ridesharing (carpools, van pools, hitchhiking, slugging – organized and informal).

5. School share (Walking school bus, walk/bike to school)

6. Taxi sharing

7. Shared Parking

8. Truck/van sharing (combined delivery, other)

9. Streetsharing (example: BRT streets shared between buses, cyclists, taxis, emergency vehicles)

10. Activity sharing (streets used by others for other (non-transport) reasons as well.)

11. Public space sharing

12. Workplace sharing (neighborhood telework centers; virtual offices; co-workplace; hoteling)

13. Sharing SVS (small vehicle systems: DRT, shuttles, community buses, etc.)

14. Time sharing

15. Successful integration of public transport within a shared transport city (Including bus and rail)

16. Knowledge-sharing (including via World Streets)

For more:

1. Lyon Conference: If you want to learn more about this, consider going to Lyon France for their conference on transport sharing later this month (30 November, in French) –
And while you are there, you can do worse to spend some time to see how they are progressing on the sharing front themselves: bikesharing and carsharing are both in place and doing well. And if you keep your eyes open you will see more.

2. Kaohsiung Conference: Or next September think about coming to Kaohsiung Taiwan for their first International Conference on Sharing Transport – see . Again, a city that is already into bike sharing and looking hard at taxi sharing, among others.

3. You: And tell the world about your events, papers, media, accomplishments, problems and your ideas.

4. Us: And stay tuned to World Streets. We do sharing.

5. And now a few words from our sponsor. (30 seconds)

Pedal Power Doc on Sharing: Quick interview with Eric Britton
from Cogent Benger on Vimeo.

Kaohsiung Car Free Days and a Green Transport Program: Low-carbon, high-amenity transport, one city at a time

With mounting visible evidence of the reality and extremely high cost of climate change, people in Taiwan increasingly feel the importance of being a part of the earth. And the city of Kaohsiung,  Taiwan’s second largest city, has decided to do something about it.

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There they go again, burying poor old Vélib. (Hey New York Times, read World Streets.)

The New York Times is generally doing a yeoman’s job of providing useful investigative coverage and commentary on the environment-climate-new mobility front. And for that we all are most grateful. However in this tough game no one goes ten for ten at bat, and in this article today on Vélib they have really missed the ball. Guess we have to be a bit careful concerning about what we read in the paper (Streets included, of course). Continue reading

Pedal Power (to the People)

Pedal Power, a new Canadian film about the phenomenal growth of city cycling produced by a Cogent/Benger Productions team under the direction of Christopher Sumpton and will be viewed for the first time today, September 24th, on national television in Canada ( , 8pm). Repeating:Friday September 25, 2009 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld.

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New York: Leading the way to the post-Motordom city?

New York City is changing, and safe and abundant cycling is part of the new face of the city. It’s one thing to hear about it from those in the middle of the often painful process, but it can be bracing to ask an expert from outside to have a look and report what they see.

Gordon Price, keen observer of cities, politician, cyclist and World Streets Sentinel travels to NYC for us and reports what he sees. Signs of hope. Lessons for your city? In his words, this latest report of the Price Tags series on transforming world cities (

This is a celebration of active transportation in NYC – how New York is leading the way to the post-Motordom city. With an interesting comparison to Portland and Vancouver.

Visit New York City with Gordon and his camera, and check out the state of play as things stand as of summer 2009. Cycling NYC 2 presents 34 pages of photographs and commentary on what works, and what is causing friction as the cycling agenda gets pushed ahead by a strong team with high, consistent commitment from the highest levels of local government, with vigorous support from transport and environment groups, the non-profit sector, academics and specialized consultants, citizens and increasingly the media. (This last being a huge change in the local landscape and certainly one that you should be working on in your city. It pays off!).

If they can do it there, we can do it anywhere, might be a line to remember.

• For your copy of Cycling NYC 2, click

More on Gordon Price and his work:

Gordon is Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University. A former six-time City Councilor in Vancouver, he has written extensively on Vancouver and transportation issues (The Deceptive City, Local Politician’s Guide to Urban Transportation. He also publishes an electronic magazine on urban issues, called “Price Tags” ( In 2009, he was appointed by the Mayor of Vancouver as a member of the “Greenest City Action Team.”

Ik ben een Amsterdammer – New Amsterdam Bike Slam – II

World Streets strongly supports this creative, high-profile, positive public event which offers an open collaborative mechanism for helping New York and anybody else who is ready to learn from their experience to move together from old to new mobility.

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