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bike share studies

HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR CITY NEEDS BIKE SHARE 10 questions city administrators should ask when considering bike share for their city

www.bikesharestudies.com.au


bike share studies

HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR CITY NEEDS BIKE SHARE 10 questions city administrators should ask when considering bike share for their city

This brief guide has been prepared by Bike Share Studies, a vendor-neutral bike share consultancy. Leading our team are Dr. Steven Fleming, an international thought leader in the field of bicycle urbanism, and Monica Zarafu, an expert in innovative transport solutions, who has implemented a small but successful system in Newcastle and provided operations management services for systems all around Australia. Bike share is an innovative approach to urban mobility that allows users to take short trips using a fleet of public bicycles distributed within a physical or digital network, available at fixed or mobile locations. Bike sharing has a great potential to bridge the gap between existing, conventional transit networks and active travel. First established in the Netherlands in 1965, the public bike sharing concept has seen a rapid expansion in the last decade, growing from less than 100 cities in 2005 to more than 900 cities in 2015. The benefits of this transport system include: increased mobility, health benefits, social equity, low environmental impact, and reduced transportation costs. Bike sharing increases liveability and provides land value capture by improving a city's image and accessibility, by generating investment in local industries and by boosting tourism.


bike share studies

Contents 2

Q1. - Is your city or town too small for bike sharing? Case Studies

3

Q2. - Is your city so congested that it really needs bike share?

4

Q3. - Are there enough jobs in your city within biking range?

5

Q4. - Is Your city's population too old to use bike share?

6

Q5. - Is your city too hilly for bike share?

7

Q6. - Will bike sharing be financially viable in your city?

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Q7. - Are riding conditions in your city sufficiently safe and inviting?

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Q8. - Can Bike Share Studies help you go forward?

10

Q9. - How should you proceed?

11

Q10. - What other services can Bike Share Studies provide?

12

Leading Team

13

How to know if your city needs bike share / 1


bike share studies

Q1. Is your city or town too small for bike sharing? With all the press about bike sharing focusing on big cities like London, New York and Paris, we can easily believe bike sharing is something for large cities only. The reality is very different. More than 1000 cities now have bike sharing (see www.bikesharingmap.com for their locations), their average size comparable to an Australian regional centre. It should be noted as well that bike sharing schemes rarely extend into hilly districts or sprawling suburbs whose residents contribute to the population count. Boulder, Colorado is an already small city (100K residents) where the bike sharing scheme survives on the patronage of a hand full of neighbourhoods plus the down-town.

2 / How to know if your city needs bike share

It is helpful to know too that even a very small system can have a meaningful impact on a small city. It meant so much to the people of Christchurch, New Zealand, to have a bike sharing system that 9 local companies and 450 individuals crowdfunded the establishment of a 30 bike fleet with 6 stations. You should not let its smallness be the thing that stops you from looking further into the viability of bike sharing for your city or town.


bike share studies

Case Studies

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/BoulderCityscape.jpg

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Beach,_Florida#/media/ File:North_Beach_Miami_Beach.jpg

Boulder, Colorado

Miami Beach, Florida

Boulder, Colorado has a population of 97,385. The bike share system was implemented to create a culture of riding bikes for any trip at any time. In 1995, a 'green bike' program offered free bikes in Boulder. Approx. 120 bikes were refurbished by high school students and left unlocked on the streets. At the end of 1996 only 40 bikes were recovered. The 3rd generation bike share system started in 2011 with 12 stations and 85 bikes covering 2 square km and a population of 7,215. The system expanded to 22 stations and 110 bikes in 2013 covering an area of 12 square km targeting people who work in downtown Boulder and tourists. In 2014, the system expanded to the University of Colorado totalling 39 stations and 275 bikes. Total trips reported for 2014 were 43,143 reported by 7,374 riders, an increase of 43% over 2013.

Miami Beach with a population of 87,779 implemented the first bike share system in 2011, consisting of 115 stations and 1,000 bikes. The network was designed to service an area of 16.32 square km with a population of 72,443 but its main purpose was to target tourists. In 2012, the operator reported over 1 mil trips. In December 2014, the program expanded from the beach to the downtown area, including Miami's financial district, arts centre, art museum and marketplaces. In March 2015, Miami, Miami Beach, Surfside and Bay Harbour programs consolidated in one large regional program of 1750 bikes in 170 stations as part of City of Miami's community engagement program.


bike share studies

Q2. Is your city so congested that it really needs bike share? Congestion is the #1 pressing dilemma behind the establishment of bike sharing in major cities. Helping people swap short car trips for bike trips maintains traffic flows for those who do need to drive. The world's largest bike sharing system, in Hangzhou, China, was designed to feed train stations so fewer people would drive. (Stations in New York are strategically placed to ease congestion on trains!) While most Australian cities and towns are too small and too well endowed with road infrastructure to have excessive average trips times, they are experiencing congestion in the very places they can least afford it. It is hardly ideal to have drivers circling looking for parking near beaches, hospitals, campuses, entertainment venues, eat streets and civic gathering places. Encouraging bike trips to and between such attractions, or from park-and-ride facilities, can enhance their appeal and the overall desirability of your city in general.

Image source: Peak Hour Traffic Photo: Source: Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia https://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/6768077907/

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bike share studies

Q3. Are there enough jobs in your city within biking range? In cities with a large concentration of office jobs in the CBD, most bike share use is for getting to work (Washington DC, 43%; London, 52%). That percentage is likely to be lower in a city that serves farming regions or mines, or that has heavy industrial zones some drive away. In these cases ABS data can give an indication of likely commuter related demand from the service and retail sectors. It will often be the case that bike share will find recreational uses - in Brisbane 65% of casual use is for sightseeing or leisure.

Image source: "Capital Bikeshare demo Times Sq jeh" by Jim.henderson - Own work. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capital_Bikeshare_demo_Times_Sq_jeh.jpg#/media/ File:Capital_Bikeshare_demo_Times_Sq_jeh.jpg

How to know if your city needs bike share / 5


bike share studies

Q4. Is Your City's population too old to use bike share? Some of the best-used and established bike sharing schemes are in countries like Spain and Italy with low birth rates and ageing populations. That notwithstanding, if your city or town has experienced an exodus of young people, or an influx of retirees, you should be mindful of lower patronage rates among seniors. It is especially the case in busy cities with challenging cycling conditions that bike share is preferred by the young, for example in London where 78% of all trips are by those aged 15-44. But even in Arlington/Alexandria, Virginia, USA only 6% of users of bike share are between 60 and 74.

Arlington County and City of Alexandria Capital BikeShare with more than 1650 bikes in the District of Columbia, Arlington County and City of Alexandria and a total of 22,200 members reported only 6% of users are between 60-74 years old based on a survey of 11,100 members with a total response rate of 34%. (http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/assets/pdf/CABI-2013SurveyReport.pdf)

London London (571 stations/8000 bikes) only 2.5% of travel time was accounted for people aged more than 60 in 2012 compared to 78% by those aged between 15 and 44. http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g425

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bike share studies

Q5. Is your city too hilly for bike share? In cities with hills that have bike share, stations are concentrated on low-lying land and cyclists tend to use level routes - beside water, for instance. It is the level ground of most Australian cities that is most developed, thanks to our cities growing around docklands, rail lines and level ground suited to horses. So far none of the cities Bike Share Studies has mapped has been so hilly, or broken by hills, for topography to be considered a barrier to a viable bike sharing system. The problem of hills can be mitigated, in part, by the addition of eBikes to the bike sharing fleet. Copenhagen, Madrid, Zurich, Stuttgart, Hangzhou, Jincheng and numerous cities in Italy and Japan have added e-bikes to their bike share programs, with Barcelona and Milan planning to follow in 2016. eBikes overcome hills, heat and distance. Systems that use them require slightly less rebalancing of stations - users of pedal-only bikes seldom return them to stations at higher elevations. The obvious disadvantage is that users have to pay more to cover the additional cost of an eBike.

Image source: Councilor Mrs Kofler-Peintner presenting the second of two REZIPE charging stations, together with the REZIPE e-bikes, City of Bolzano, Italy. http://www.rezipe.eu/index.php?id=21&ID1=4

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bike share studies

Q6. Will bike sharing be financially viable in your city? Because bike sharing operates on the principle that trips are short and cheap, only part of the cost of establishing and operating a system can ever be covered by users. Supplementary funding is required from others who benefit. Corporate sponsors are attracted by the prospect of brand exposure all over a city, including in areas where stationary advertising is banned. Cities provide space for bike share because it increases liveability and land value capture. Sometimes local businesses support stations because they bring customers. Health care providers and insurers benefit in the long term. Our preliminary reports offer perspectives on the size and cost of systems suitable for your city and first thoughts about a range of possible sponsors.

Image source: Citi Bike station on Lafayette Street, NY. Author: Jim.henderson https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spring_Lafayette_citibike_opening_jeh.jpg

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bike share studies

Q7. Are riding conditions in your city sufficiently safe and inviting? The major barrier to people using bike share in Australia is not our country's mandatory helmet laws, but peoples' perception of danger that tends to be artificially high. That is because most Australians navigate their cities via arterial road networks, thus, if they encounter a cyclist, it will be at the edge of a road designed for fast driving—doing something most of us would never do due to our risk aversion. What they have encountered is a cyclist who is fearless and fast, not one of Australia's many neighbourhood cyclists navigating hidden networks of what we call “cycle space”.

Because of their driver's-eye view of their cities most Australian believe cycling is dangerous. For some cities that is true: cycling is too challenging for bike share to succeed. In others though, quiet back streets, parks and cycleways provide a contiguous network of cycle space via which an inexperienced rider can navigate their city with no stress at all. Often times they will be safer than if they were in central Amsterdam where 68% of all trips are by bike.

Image source: Capital City Trail at Princes Park, Melbourne https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_City_Trail

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bike share studies

Q8. Can Bike Share Studies help you go forward? If after reading this guide you believe your city may be a candidate for the benefits of a bike sharing scheme, Bike Share Studies can provide you with a low cost study to help you proceed. The centrepiece of that study will be a “cycle space map� of your city. By surveying the continuity of space in your city where a risk-averse cyclist would be happy to ride, we can answer the main question of safety. Below are sample portions of maps of two cities we have surveyed previously.

The first city, Launceston, Tasmania, offers risk-averse cyclists the legal right to ride on the footpath, but as the map shows, footpaths are broken by regular driveway crossings to busy car parks mid-block. Cars have been observed to assume right-of-way and race out from blind openings without looking for people using the footpath. As for carriageways, most handle arterial and highway traffic that, in this city, passes through the town centre. Remaining streets are so hotly contested for their curb side car parking that risk-averse cyclists don't feel safe using these either. Launceston is not a fine candidate for a bike sharing system. 10 / How to know if your city needs bike share

The second image shows a small portion of a map we produced for Newcastle City Council. Because it is a larger city with numerous commercial streets, a much larger area had to be surveyed. Despite it being illegal to ride on most footpaths, an abundance of traffic-calmed residential back streets, shared waterfront promenades, and non-vehicular crossings over the former rail easement make the city more permeable for cyclists than it is for motorists. The orange dots represent small and large magnets for bike trips, with minor attractions like shops having small dots, and large ones like pubs and train stations having large dots.


bike share studies

Q9. How should you proceed? Please contact us for an initial discussion around existing plans for bike share in your city. We will send you an example of our previous work, from which you will see the wide scope of our reports and our expertise. From there we can define the scope of a similar report for your city.

By making our studies pointed and succinct we are able to provide a low cost report, but at the same time give objective advice on whether or not, and how to proceed toward a future with bike share.

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bike share studies

Q10. What other services can Bike Share Studies provide? Our combined skills allow us to provide your city with: Community workshops around bike sharing and bike transport

Continuing professional development seminars

Bike plans focussed on short trips from a combined architectural and transport planning perspective

Full scale bike share feasibility studies, demand estimation and the recommendations about station locations

Bike sharing business plan development and financial models

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bike share studies

Leading Team

Monica Zarafu

Dr. Steven Fleming

Monica Zarafu is a specialist in sustainable transport solutions for twenty-first century urban forms, with over 20 years of academic, local government and industry practice in Australia and overseas. Focusing on finding a sustainable equilibrium between individual and collective interests, she managed various projects in the field of personal mobility, from Personal Rapid Transit systems to Personal Mobility Devices, working with governments and transport agencies in Romania and Australia. Monica has given presentations at prestigious forums and international conferences such as the International Urban Planning and Environment Symposium, the Planning Saloon in Sydney, the Healthy Cities Conference in Geelong, Victoria or the PodCar City Conference in Silicon Valley, USA. She is the recipient of a number of scholarships and awards, including a scholarship from CSIRO, the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia and the First Annual Martin Lowson Paper Award conferred by the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA). In recent years Monica has specialised in bike share planning and operations. She founded InterBike implementing and running a successful network of automated bike stations in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Sydney. Monica is a champion of bike sharing as a transport system that is easy to implement, environmental friendly and cost-effective.

As an academic Dr. Fleming has published over 40 articles and books, including Cycle Space, Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle, (NAi010, 2012) promoting the bicycle as the chief paragon and protagonist of environmental design. His design work maximises the mode of maximum benefit to our health, wealth and planet, while at the same time questioning the hegemony of car-centric planning that does more to hurt walking and public transport. Exhibitors of his designs include the National Museum of Australia with press coverage from CityLab, FastCompany, ArchDaily, etc.. He is a draw-card speaker to institutes of Architecture (New York, Rotterdam, Vancouver, Singapore, Sydney etc.) and major events (the launch of Europe by People, VeloCity, European Cyclelogistics Federation, etc.). He has held academic positions at the Universities of Canberra, Tasmania and Newcastle in Australia and Harvard and Columbia universities in the US. As a government architect in Singapore he designed and project managed 4 major developments including a total of 1810 dwelling units and designed a 2.4 hectare park, an early example of his life mission to design active environments. He currently directs the Cycle Space International consultancy and the Cycle Space Amsterdam accelerator group.

Contact: Monica Zarafu – Senior Associate Transport Email: monica@bikesharestudies.com.au Phone: +61 403 508 101

Contact: Dr. Steven Fleming – Senior Associate Urban Design Email: steven@bikesharestudies.com.au Phone: +61 422 486 271


bike share studies

Contacts: Dr. Steven Fleming – Senior Associate Urban Design Email: steven@bikesharestudies.com.au Phone: +61 422 486 271 Monica Zarafu – Senior Associate Transport Email: monica@bikesharestudies.com.au Phone: +61 403 508 101 www.bikesharestudies.com.au

How to know if your city needs bike share  

10 questions brief guide which every city should ask when considering bike sharing for their city

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