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Bikesharing across the Globe

  • Author(s): Shaheen, Susan;
  • Guzman, Stacy;
  • Zhang, Hua
  • et al.

Concerns about global climate change, energy security, and unstable fuel prices have caused many decision makers and policy experts worldwideto closely examine the need for more sustainable transportation strate- gies. Sustainable strategies include clean fuels, vehicle technologies, trans- portation demand management, and integrated land use and transportation strategies (Shaheen and Lipman 2007). Bikesharing—the shared use of a bicycle fleet—is one mobility strategy that could help address many of these concerns. In recent years, interest in this evolving concept has spread across the globe. At present, there are an estimated 135 programs in approximately 160 cities around the world with more than 236,000 bicycles on four continents and over 35 more planned in 16 nations in 2011.Despite rapid global motorization, worldwide bicycle use has gener- ally increased over the past thirty years. Indeed, as shown in chapter 2, bicycling in Dutch, German, and Danish cities increased between 20 to 43 percent between 1975 and 1995 (Pucher and Buehler 2008). In fact, bicycle trips in Berlin alone quadrupled between 1970 and 2001 (Pucher, Dill, and Handy 2010). Although cycling growth and trends vary world- wide, bikesharing offers a transportation alternative to increase bicycle use by integrating cycling into the transportation system and making it more convenient and attractive to users.

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