Public Bikes – How big a system? And why?

One of the complaints currently being voiced in the UK press about the new public bike start-up in the city of Bristol is that it is too small, insufficiently visible and generally hard to get at – and that it thus fails to achieve the level of massive use that is necessary if what you want is a city transformation project. Is that what your public bicycle project is supposed to do? Transform your city?
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Integrate cycling with public transport

Cycling and public transport are complementary modes of travel. As shown best by cities in northern Europe, the integration of cycling and public transport helps reduce environmentally harmful car use while making our cities more livable.

– John Pucher of Rutgers University, USA reports:


Cycling is ideal for trips up to about 5 km, while PT is the most environmentally friendly way to cover long trips. Here are some ways in which we can make that mission-critical cycling/public transport connection.

1. Different kinds of bike-PT coordination:

* Provision of bike parking at rail transit stations (usually) and bus stops (much less common)

* Bike racks on buses (usually on front)

* Permission to take bikes on PT vehicles (usually rail), and special provisions for accommodating bikes on vehicles (racks, hooks, reserved space, or special bike cars)

* Provision of short-term bike rentals at train stations (PT bikes)

2. Examples and extent of implementation

* Focus in Europe and Japan is on extensive parking at rail stations, often including guarded, covered parking and full-service bike stations (e.g., over 350,000 bike parking spaces at Dutch train stations, over 740,000 bike parking spaces at metro and suburban rail stations in Tokyo)

* Focus in North America is on bike racks on buses, with over 2/3 of US buses and 3/4 of Canadian buses equipped with racks; very few buses with bike racks in Europe.

* Bikes often allowed on light rail, metro, and suburban rail, but not during peak hours on most systems

* Bike parking at rail stations increasing greatly in quantity and quality throughout Europe and North America, esp. since 1990

* Trend toward full-service bike stations in Europe: at 67 Dutch train stations and 70 German train stations in 2007; just starting up in USA and on much smaller scale; mega bike stations in Japanese cities

* Public transport bikes (OV-Fiets at 156 Dutch train stations; Call-a-Bike at 16 German train stations)

3. Impacts on cycling

* Focus of studies has been on impacts on public transport use, with cycling found to be much cheaper feeder mode than cars (bike and ride vs. park and ride) for increasing catchment area of rail services

* Most studies report high usage rates of bike parking and bike racks, as well as increased satisfaction of surveyed cyclists, indirectly suggesting that these measures encourage cycling. On average, 90% of the bike parking spaces at Dutch railway stations is occupied by bikes, and at some stations, the number of bikes far exceeds the number of bike parking spaces.

* 40% of Dutch suburban rail users cycle from home to the station, indicating the importance of bike and ride

* One Dutch study measured impacts of various kinds of improved bike parking at rail stations and bus stops in a few pilot projects and found increased transit use and bike trips to access transit stops, suggesting that it probably increased overall cycling levels; the same study reported a positive impact of short-term bike rental programs at Dutch train stations (public transport bikes), raising the bike share of egress trips from stations to activity destinations.

John Pucher, pucher@rci.rutgers.edu
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey USA

Suggested references:

Hegger, R., 2007. Public transport and cycling: living apart or together? Public Transport International. 56 (2), 38-41.

Martens, K., 2007. Promoting Bike and Ride: The Dutch experience. Transportation Research Part A. 41, 326-338

Pucher, J., Buehler, R., 2009. Integration of bicycling with public transport. Journal of Public Transportation. 12 (3), autumn 2009 in press.

Rietveld, P., 2000. The accessibility of railway stations: the role of the bicycle in the Netherlands. Transportation Research Part D. 5, 71-75

TRB, 2005. Integration of Bicycles and Transit. TCRP Synthesis Report 62. Washington: Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences

The best public bike system in the world?

Adam Cooper, Canadian, on why Canada’s BiXi is the best public bike system in the world
Watch out world, the city of Montreal is on the move: this time powered by pedals. The second largest city in Canada is now home to North America’s largest bike sharing program. The BIXI system (Bicycle + Taxi) is Canada’s first attempt at large scale bike sharing; and from my initial experiences I will say it is extremely well done, maybe even the best in the world.

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Update: Public bike developments in Italy

Over the months of April and May the Italian Bicincitta PBS program added six more cities to their “Community Bicincitta”, bringing them to a total of 42 in Italy and 2 in Spain. Brief background on each new city project together with links and contact information follow.

1. Terni, with 5 workstations,

2. Syracuse , opened at the recent G8 summit, the first service of Bike Sharing in Sicily and first service Bicincittà – offering both traditional and bicycles with pedal assisted (e-bikes),

3. Bassano del Grappa, with 5 stations in the historic center,

4. Bergamo, larger project with 15 stations throughout the city, managed by ATB;

5. Schio, revolutionizes the design of sustainable mobility with new Municipality of bicycle lanes safe and secure and the system of Bike Sharing BiciSchio;

6. Asti, in Piedmont, offering a free service for all citizens.

For further information, visit their website at http://www.bicincitta.com . The specific services can be indentified under their “Adhered Cities” link on the top menu.

Photo showing the “La BiGi” service in Bergamo.


* For more on how Bicincitta works, click http://www.bicincitta.com/progetto.asp

We shall in due course be presenting an overview of the Bicincitta project, along with all of the other major PBS projects worldwide.


Contact info:
Via Genova, 2 – 10040 Rivalta (TO) – Italia
Tel 0119023711 – Fax 0119023721
m.quario@spaziocomune.com

Honk! Battered Bicycles in Paris

Vélib, Paris’s pioneering, city-transforming public bike project has had its fair share (actually unfair share I would say) of vandalism and theft, and while it does not threaten the integrity and viability of the service, it is part of the landscape of public bikes and needs to be understood and taken into account. There is, in fact, a great deal that can be done to reduce the magnitude of these challenges , and indeed steps are being taken here. That said, let’s have a look at some of the examples of damage, which have been collected for us by vigilant Eyes on the Street Sentinel in Paris, Larry Langner.

And here you have a poster placed on one of the JCDecaux street signs in Paris, warning that: “Breaking a bike is easy. It can’t defend itself”.

And then: “16,000 bikes vandalised, 8000 disappeared. Velib is yours. Protect it.

For more examples, click to http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-264472

* Editor’s note: Click here to read report on “Reports of Vélib’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated

Media! From Bikeshare to Carshare

This short film explores some differences of views between experts about an eventual new and very ambitious carsharing project currently being discussed in Paris for application by the city. It combines scenes showing some of the different ways that people getting around in the city these days, with expert commentary, all of which is aimed at a general audience and not just the usual insiders.

In other words, it engages complexity. Now that’s a start!

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Bad News Dept. – A Bad Public Bike Project

(Don’t let this happen to you)


There are lots of ways to get your city bicycle project wrong, but here is one path that is guaranteed to fail. Have a look. It doesn’t have to be like this.


The “Free Lunch” public bicycle project

Here’s how it works:

1. An ambitious local political figure decides s/he wants to get greater glory and votes, do something vastly popular, something very fast, and get it all for free. And all that with an election in view.

2. So s/he whips up interest for a public bike project in the city and goes to any of the players out there (suppliers) to find anyone who will deliver the profiled service for a low price (or, better yet, free).

3. As part of the “free lunch” project, s/he manages to convince one of the advertising-based suppliers or some other group who are ready to put in a system against some sort of swap agreement (though increasingly against their own better judgment, since they have seen this one before and find no great satisfaction in being identified with a crushing failure).

4. They agree to do it – since s/he give them everything they are asking for. (Since it’s free. Right?)

5. The project gets ordered, planned and built.

6. But someone forgets to do due diligence to make 100% sure that the demanding infrastructure specifications that are critical to system success are going to be met. (If you can’t cycle safely in your city there is no room for a public bike project. Come back when you have that part of your house in order. Better yet, start today!)

7. The detailed checklists of key points and pivots has not been scrutinized with the needed full expert attention and knowledge of international experience and lessons learned (at time painfully).

8. There is a gala opening day, everyone gets excited, the local media is there, the ribbons are cut and bingo! The system is up and working. Hurrah!

9. But it does not take long for reality to set in.

10. The wonderful new service does not offer the necessary high-grain area-wide coverage, stations and collection points are poorly placed, so the whole thing is vastly underutilized. Instead of 8-12 riders, they are getting a small fraction of that. Oops!

11. And soon the accidents start to roll in.

12. The bike redistribution system is not working properly (no bikes in station, no parking slots available), so many potential users after a certain number of frustrating episodes simply stop relying on it for daily use.

13. Maintenance was vastly under budgeted and is neglected.

14. “Maintenance is all.” (Everybody knows that but somehow it’s not being delivered in the free lunch project.)

15. The anticipated income from subscriptions is not coming in. (And we know who is going to foot that bill when it comes due.)

16. Theft, vandalism, accidents, inadequate enforcement,

17. The project slowly grinds down and finally to a halt, with only vestiges maintained.

18. Happy ending: The local hero who started it all has been elected to another (distant) office and is not around to take the blame.

19. And so it goes.

This is a true story by the way. It really happened. And it’s not the only one.
But there are plenty of other ways to mess up as well. These projects may look simple but that’s just not the case. It’s like walking a tight rope: there are a lot of steps that you could take but only one of them is the right one.

PS. How do you make sure this does not happen in your city? Stay tuned.

Brainfood: the City of Strasbourg looks at public bikes

Should a city, already a major cycling capital, with more than one hundred thousand bikes out in its streets and a ten percent modal share for bike transport, even bother to look at the possibility of a Pubic Bicycle System? Unnecessary, redundant, counter-productive? Useful, synergistic? World Streets traveled to Strasbourg in the east of France to look around and find out how they feel about it.

To get a feel for their thinking on this I just spent four fascinating days observing and working on the New Mobility Agenda in Strasbourg, an especially attractive city of some 250,000 located in the east of France and nestled right on the border of Germany. In addition to a series of highly informative and challenging interviews and conversations with a fair spectrum of local transportation experts, policymakers and operators, I had a great opportunity to find my way around the city and its surrounding region through an intense combination of walking, cycling, bus, boat, their excellent tramway system, and even taxis on a couple occasions when I got stuck. Watching and talking to people just about nonstop as I made my way around the central area, but also reaching out into the extended metropolitan area were an additional half-million people live in a combination of small clusters and a local version of suburban sprawl.

In transportation terms, Strasbourg is far from being just one more city. It has created a highly innovative alternative transportation system of many layers which can legitimately be considered a model for others. And that was precisely why I was there, to look and to learn. I intend to write up my findings in a series of articles to appear here looking at key points in their strategy and competence, but today is the first step I would like to share with you a few things I learned while I was there about public bicycles from a somewhat unusual perspective.

Strasbourg enjoys a cycling situation that most cities can only dream about. It is the biking capital of France. Which makes it especially interesting to consider what happens when a city, that already has something like 140,000 bikes, more than 500 km of protected cycling provision that there carefully built up over the years, and an impressive 10% modal share for cycling, starts to think about what might be the place of a Public Bicycle System in their city.

The conversations I had with a fair cross-section of people, agencies and groups revealed that this is indeed something at which they are starting to look quite seriously. And while it is not at the absolute top of the list of their 2009 transportation priorities, nonetheless will be giving it attention in the months immediately ahead.

And there is, in my view at least, plenty of room for public bikes even in a city like Strasbourg.

What I was able to observe is that there is a basic cycling pattern in the city, as in many others, in which citizens use their own bikes in very specific ways. There is of course a fair amount of leisure cycling, but most of the usage is result of people hopping on their bike at a specific time, for specific purpose, to go to a specific place. It is by and large “organized transportation”, albeit self-organized. Another characteristic of these trips is that they generally tend to take place along very specific, usually very well-known routes. Again, organized transportation.

But when we step back and consider how public bicycles are used in those several handfuls of cities in which they have become a real transportation alternatives for daily use, we observe a quite different pattern. The trips tend to be less routine, more incidental, last-minute, and even optional. Closer to the way in which many people use their cars in fact, as opposed to public transportation: a two wheeled, low-cost, high-efficiency, zero carbon version of DRT, demand responsive transport. Hard to beat once you think about it like that.

And this to my mind is where we start to see that even in a city as well equipped for cycle as Strasbourg, there are opportunities for public bikes as well. I look forward to being able to share with you their findings and results in the months ahead, because what they learn is going to be valuable for us all. In the meantime I invite your comments here, which I will be pleased to share on a selective basis with the Strasbourg team. But I guess the only way in which you can fully grasp what is going on and what they should be doing along these lines will be for you to spend a few days seeing for yourself.

Stay tuned.

The editor

PS. Here is one thing I learned about Strasbourg that is I think quite striking in the context of World Streets and our shared interests here. Perhaps you did not know this. The name has as you can see two main parts: the first half, “stras” means “street “in the local language. The second half, the “bourg”, “city”. “City of streets”. Nice.

How do you get people riding bikes for daily transportation?

– Henry Cutler. Eyes on the Street in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

There is more to it than just wheels and concrete. It is a systemic challenge, and here for example is one small part.

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Public Bikes: "Cycling on the rise"


This timely report just in from our Dutch friends SpiCycles. In their words:

“When the Spicycles project was launched in 2006, cycling was not the “hot” mode of transport that it has become today. As project partners, we wanted to gather experience related to specific areas of cycling policy. We were keen to explore how key elements such as communication and awareness raising, and the building of local partnerships, might increase the modal share of cycling. We had big expectations at the beginning of the project regarding cycling planning, but could not have predicted the explosion in the popularity of public bicycle systems that has taken place during Spicycles.”

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Public Bike Supplier Interviews – Spring 2009

Introduction to PBS Interview Series

The city bike — shared bike, community bike, or public bicycle system (PBS) as it is variously called — is a quite new as well as a very effective way of getting around in the city, at least as it is practiced at the leading edge . Most certainly the fastest growing form of urban transport in the world today (admittedly from a minuscule base), it is at once the darling of the media and a favorite photo op of mayors and public officials all over the world.

However there is a small problem. That being that while they look simple enough at first glance – bunch of bikes, bunch of stands for parking them, and Bob’s your uncle — the reality turns out to be far more complex. (For a quick heads-up on that click to “Not just one more pretty bike project” here.”)

This has lead to a situation over the last couple of years where many cities are showing great enthusiasm for the concept, without necessarily fully appreciating what is required on their part to make them into successes. As a result we are seeing far too many weak projects and weak plans in city after city around the world. But it does not have to be this way.

Where to turn for solid counsel on how to plan and implement your city bike project? Certainly if you are able to dig deep into the interstices of the most successful projects – not always easy to do for a variety of reasons – there are valuable clues to be had. Beyond this however certainly one of the most solid sources of information and perspective is the leading supplier groups who have partnered with the best projects thus far to get them up and running. But how to make this contact in a positive and creative way?

This turns out to be something of a challenge because in project after project we are seeing the suppliers being treated less as partners and more often as almost adversaries. It is the rare city indeed that manages to get this relationship right. Of course the suppliers are profit-making firms whose business it is to get and execute a good contract under favorable terms. But if you are a member of a city team considering a project of your own, do not lose sight of the fact that they are also your best information partners. How to bridge this gap?

Here is where this new series of World Streets is hoping to step in. We have planned to carry out a cycle of in-depth interviews over the next two months with a selection of the leading suppliers active in the field worldwide, in an attempt to ask some of the questions that you may have in your pocket. We will be speaking with program leaders in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Japan, Spain, the US, the UK, and possibly by the time we are finished one or two others as well.

If you have questions you would like us to add to our list of ten for each interview, pass them on and we will see what we can do with them. And once we publish them, your comments and questions will be welcome on each profile (using the Comment link under the respective interview). Likewise if you have more general points to share with us, we invite you to Comment in the link at the end of this entry.

Further Q & A: We are inviting each of the interviewees to visit the Comments section in the weeks following their posting, and, as they feel it appropriate, to give their attention to comments and questions that readers of Streets may have logged in.

The Editor

* For the record, one of the most valuable sources of information on this topic is the World City Bike Consortium started by the New Mobility Partnerships in 2006 as a place to share information and ask questions from people directly involved at the working level. You can consult this site freely at www.citybike.newmobility.org.

World Streets PBS Profiles Series – Spring 2009

Introduction to PBS Interview Series

The city bike — shared bike, or public bicycle system (PBS) as it is variously called — is a quite new as well as a very effective way of getting around in the city, at least as it is practiced at the leading edge . Most certainly the fastest growing form of urban transport in the world today (admittedly from a minuscule base), it is at once the darling of the media and a favorite photo op of mayors and public officials all over the world..

However there is a small problem. That being that while they look simple enough at first glance – bunch of bikes, bunch of stands for parking them, and Bob’s your uncle — the reality turns out to be far more complex. (See “Not just one more pretty bike project” here.”.

This has lead to a situation over the last couple of years where many cities are showing great enthusiasm for the concept, without necessarily fully appreciating what is required on their part to make them into successes. As a result we are seeing far too many weak projects and weak plans in city after city around the world. But it does not have to be this way.

Where to turn for solid counsel on how to plan and implement your city bike project? Certainly if you are able to dig deep into the interstices of the most successful projects – not always easy to do for a variety of reasons – there are valuable clues to be had. Beyond this however certainly one of the most solid sources of information and perspective is the leading supplier groups who have partnered with the best projects thus far to get them up and running. But how to make this contact in a positive and creative way?

This turns out to be something of a challenge because in project after project we are seeing the suppliers being treated less as partners and more often as almost adversaries. It is the rare city indeed that manages to get this relationship right. Of course the suppliers are profit-making firms whose business it is to get and execute a good contract under favorable terms. But if you are a member of a city team considering a project of your own, do not lose sight of the fact that they are also your best information partners. How to bridge this gap?

Here is where this new series of World Streets is hoping to step in. We have planned to carry out a cycle of interviews with a number of the leading groups working in the field, in an attempt to ask some of the questions that you may have in your pocket. The first of these interviews will be published here in early April with the team behind the about-to-launch Montreal Bixi project, followed a week later with a second exchange with one of the leaders of the Clear Channel SmartBike program. In this way we get the ball rolling by going to both the newest and the oldest of the state-of-the-art city projects, with the other leaders to follow in short order.

Your comments and questions will be welcome on each profile, using the Comment link under the respective interview. Likewise if you have more general points to share with us, we invite you to Comment in the link at the end of this entry. If you have questions you would like us to add to our list of ten for each interview, pass them on and we will see what we can do with them.

The Editor

* For the record, one of the most valuable sources of information on this topic is the World City Bike Consortium started by the New Mobility Partnerships in 2006 as a place to share information and ask questions from people directly involved at the working level. You can consult this site freely at www.citybike.newmobility.org.

YouBike: New Share Bike scheme in Taipei

A new public bike scheme just started by the Taipei goverment and supported by Giant bicycle in Taipei. As stated on the wibsite: “Bicycle is clearly growing trend all around the world. It is a symbol of advanced, civic and a green city. The cycling population in Taiwan is growing rapidly acrros all ages.”

The ambition of the project is to promote the use of bicycle as the “last mile” connection for public transportation. This encourage a new commuting culture to let more people to take public transport. Increase transport efficiency while reducing the energy consumption. as the same time.

The YouBike system is controled by automated electronic system, using RFID and smart card system.

The YouBike Public Bicycle System uses the EasyCard as the membership card. Short-term card registration is available from the information kiosk at each rental point. Long-term card can be applied via the YouBike website or service center.

First 30 minutes of each session is free then TWD 10 (about $0.30) for each additional 15 minutes.

Some statistics:
• Automated bicycle station: 11
• RFID tagged parking space: 754
• YouBikes: 500
• Service center: 1

English language website at: http://www.youbike.com.tw/upage/english.htm

Contact for further information: service@youbike.com.tw or Fax 02 2722-4211

Report: Bicycle Sharing Systems Worldwide: Selected Case Studies

CityRyde LLC, a bicycle sharing consultancy founded in 2007 based in Philadelphia, PA would like to add a cherry on top of the information the World City Bike Forum provides – a free report just released that focuses on the bike sharing systems we get asked about most frequently.

Enter “Bicycle Sharing Systems Worldwide: Selected Case Studies” – a high-level synopsis that includes critical information about major vendors and deployments such as JCDecaux with Velib’, Clear Channel Outdoors with SmartBike DC, Public Bike Systems with Bixi, B-cycle with Momentum B-cycle, CEMUSA with Nbici and Veolia Transportation with OyBike.

CityRyde has spent years researching and analyzing information about bike sharing implementations and their providers and strives to be the trusted source of bike sharing knowledge. For the first time ever, this information is compiled into a high-level synopsis which is easy to read and shared openly to the public.

“Bike Sharing Systems” focuses on the systems we get asked about most frequently, including major vendors and deployments such as JCDecaux with Velib’, Clear Channel Outdoors with SmartBike DC, Public Bike Systems with Bixi, B-cycle with Momentum B-cycle, CEMUSA with Nbici, and Veolia Transportation with OyBike. We have captured critical information about the systems including membership demographics, usage information, implementation costs, rental costs, bike share technology (bike, kiosk, locking mechanism), and implementation statistics.

Download this document at no charge by visiting our reports page at www.cityryde.com/reports

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, concerns, etc.

Jason Meinzer, JHSMeinzer@cityryde.com
CityRyde LLC – http://www.CityRyde.com
Philadelphia, PA USA

Do city bikes reduce cars in cities?

Our colleague Sebastian Bührmann writes on Wednesday 5 March: Can anyone help with data regarding the following two questions? 1) Do public bicycle programs have had a noticeable effect on the use of cars in urban areas? 2) What is their impact on public transit use (do they hurt public transport operators or do they help)?

———————————————————————————————————-

These are excellent questions and considerably more delicate than they might at first appear to be. Let’s have a look.

The matter of car substitution, just like that of CO2 reductions, is in fact not something that lends itself well to short-term measurement and assessment. And as a matter of fact, this is as true with just about any of the policies or initiatives of the New Mobility Agenda as it is with a new city bike project.

This is not to say that a properly designed and implemented city bike project will not get cars off the street or CO2 out of the air, including in the short-term. However for various reasons this is very difficult to judge in a meaningful manner — and in any event the crux of the entire matter lies in what happens not so much now all but rather over a period of adaptation spanning months and even a year or two or three. A city bike project is above all a process, an organic process of discovery, adaptation, and change on the part of a large number of individual citizens acting on their own and for reasons of their own.

It helps to stand back a bit and visualize the process that actually unfolds once you start to get a couple thousand bicycles out on the street of your city, and people begin using them to connect their lives on a day-to-day basis. It starts first as a matter of simple curiosity, then experimentation and adaptation, and eventually for some begins to take the form of a habit. It is this last that is the most important contribution of the city bike: people changing their lives in some fundamental ways, based on their own personal choices that make a difference to them, and which in time to relate to make differences on the city and the environment.

How do you measure this? Here is a good procedure for getting a specific number for this, but believe me a number of not much use. Suppose for example this morning you walked out onto the street and asked 20 or 20,000 people parking one of their city bikes in a station in Paris, Lyon, or Barcelona: how would you have made this trip if you did not have a city bike available in order to do it? More often than not you’ll find the answers range broadly, from: Might not have made the trip at all. Used it instead of walking, Might have taken a bus or other public transport if I could’ve found one, or — — and this is something you’re sure to hear far less often — Oh yes, I used it instead of taking my car (or even less often a taxi).

So if you’re in a rush to consider that this first round of responses is all you need to come to your determination about what is going on, there you have it: city bikes just don’t seem to be substituting for car trips. At most a couple of percent. And if they’re not substituting one for one and immediately for car trips, they’re also not having any particular climate impacts. So that’s it for city bikes!

But that’s not the whole picture dear friends, and it is in fact right here where the true greatness of the city bike concept begins to kick in. Let’s walk through this process briefly together.

After you as a new user have gone through the necessary early stages and made your peace with the system that you have in your city, these bikes began to help you move rather subtly over into a new pattern of moving about, where you go, and even what you do. Just as we saw over the last decades of the 20th century that when people have “free” access to cars they almost automatically expand the distances which they travel in their daily lives, and in parallel with that land-use patterns stretch as well. This is exactly how the dominance of the car culture led to the destruction of the city center in far too many places.

But as the city bike user, there will be days when the weather is just too rotten for you at least to take your bike… so what do you do then? Well the odds are that if your city has a half decent public transportation system you are likely to opt for it. Because even if it lacks the flexibility of a great city bike, a good bus system can have advantages of its own. Not only that, if the designers of the system to their job the entire ticketing and fare system support the concept of inter-mobility. And thus at least some of us in the process move from being Mono-Modal Men (the majority of those car captives) to Multi-Modal People. A definite improvement in terms of environment, economics, fairness, and simple sociability.

So what happens is that once you get your first class city bike project in place and enough people start to use it, you begin to get a new metric for your city which places increased value on proximity and in the process by the way favors local businesses and suppliers of goods and services in the area served.

Now all of a sudden you begin to have the makings of a new ballgame. Not for everybody at all at once, but gradually for certain portion of them, that second car begins to be less needed. For others living in the center, and once first-class car sharing services also become available to complete the multimodal chain of new mobility (we sometimes call car sharing “the last nail in the coffin of old mobility”), the idea of hanging on to their own car at high cost and often high peripheral discomfort becomes a part of their past.

A pattern break has gotten underway and all of a sudden a relationship with our own cars begins to move into a new dimension.

In the process old mobility falls away, slowly, slowly, like autumn leaves falling off the trees.

And that is the real power of the city bike and the New Mobility Agenda.