Bike-Sharing: Safer Than Riding Your Own Bike

Monday, June 27 by sandy

DC-BikeshareIt seems counterintuitive. You’d think that riding your own bike would be safer than riding a shared bike. But that’s not the case. In Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., fewer people are injured when they use the new bike-sharing systems.

In London, no one was seriously injured or killed on the first 4.5 million trips on what the locals call Boris Bikes (Barclays Cycle Hire system), while about 12 people are injured for every 4.5 million trips on personal bikes.

And in D.C., the same thing happens: “While only seven bike-sharing riders were injured in 330,000 trips, on average, 13 people riding personal bikes are injured over the same number of trips. And bike-sharing riders suffered no serious injuries, while riders using their own bikes suffered injuries that were sometimes serious or even fatal.”

So why does this happen? Professor Norman Garrick of the University of Connecticut speculates that it could be shorter trips on shared bikes. Professor Ian Walker of the University of Bath (England) suggests bike-sharers might be less experienced and “stick to safer cycling behavior,” or they “could be more dedicated cyclists with an above-average skill level.” Garrick adds that the shared bikes themselves might be a factor, since they’re more visible (often bright red or yellow) and slower.

Read more on StreetBlog.org.

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Bike-Share Programs Take Off

Monday, November 8 by silvia

Velib, ParisThe Vélib system in Paris and now London’s bike-share program get lots of attention, but all sorts of European cities have similar programs. The German newsweekly Der Spiegel says the number has hit 100.

Does it get more people on bikes and reduce congestion? Nearly half of Vélib users say they drive less due to getting on a Vélib more. It’s easy for tourists to use too, with bikes and racks seemingly everywhere you look. There aren’t many such systems in the U.S., although Washington D.C. recently expanded and relaunched its program.

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Washington DC’s Bikeshare

Thursday, September 30 by silvia

Capital Bikeshare bikesOur nation’s capital joins Paris, London and Montreal, among others, with bike-sharing programs. Dubbed Capital Bikeshare, the program has more than 1,100 bikes available at more than 110 stations in DC and Arlington. A 24-hour membership costs $5 (you can also buy 30-day and one-year memberships) and you can get a bike as often as you’d like. Like elsewhere, the first 30 minutes of each ride is free. It’s a great way to see the sights or explore a new neighborhood, use the city’s extensive trails or get to the ballpark. Just don’t forget to bring your helmet!

We hope to see government officials using the distinctive red bikes to get around and learn the joys of cycling!

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