Yes- we look silly, but safety first!
I am happy to report that bike sharing has come to New York City again (it’s 2nd year)- where it is most welcomed and needed. Aside from all of the traffic congestion and pollution from the exhaust, most NYers or city dwellers do not have the space to keep a bike in their apartment and those left on the street -even with the biggest and most heavy duty locks very unfortunately get stolen or vandalized. A bike sharing system is great at helping to reduce the carbon footprint of commuters and enables users to become healthier through exercise.
Bike Sharing has been big in Europe for quite some time- most notably in Paris and Barcelona. Paris’s Velib’ bike sharing program is currently the largest, with a network of 20,000 specially designed bicycles distributed among 1450 stations throughout Paris. Barcelona’s bike sharing program, Bicing was launched in 2007 and has approximately 400 stations with 6,000 bicycles. While there this past year I saw many people taking advantage of the service. From what I gather their programs are either free or you pay a minimal fee. There are no attendants but rather a computer station where you check out and return your bike.
Bicing Bike Share in Barcelona- I was so impressed!