Bike-sharing is a game changer for U.S. cities:

What makes bike-sharing programs special and potentially game-changing is that one only possesses the bicycle while one is riding it. You pick it up, use it and leave it. Usually when I bike, or for that matter when I drive, I’m constantly aware that I have this valuable possession with me, and must tend to it. If I bicycle to work, I have to worry about locking it, and I have to ride it home again, even if the weather has changed or, simply, my temperament.

The public bikes are not a mere amenity. They save time while expanding the parts of a city that one can reach quickly and easily. They are a type of public transit that gives the same mobility as individual private transport, without the costs or the burdens. They also increase the flexibility of the transportation system. With bicycles eventually distributed all around the city, I could, in the future, use combinations of bike, cab, subway and private car. I’m sure the bike-share program will be used in ways I can’t even imagine.

According to Jason Moore, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of California, Davis:

I think the last two decades, we have seen a stronger resurgence in this role for the bicycle — not just recreational life, but in actual commuting and daily use,” said Moore. “You can look at all the great cities in the USA right now, and they are all enacting specific targeted plans to increase the convenience of bicycling. And it helps with their sustainability needs, and then there’s other things like pollution and congestion, etc.

What is happening within the industry?  It is getting competitive:

Ofo taking bike-sharing to 4 new European markets  (Nikkei Asian Review)

Dockless bike-share companies race to Washington  (Washington Post)

LimeBike rides its national growth with eyes on New York City  (Metro)

Chinese bike sharing: A business model for London  (eTN)

With New Fundraising, 9-Month-Old Bike-Sharing Startup Is Said To Be Worth $200 Million  (Forbes)

What is the future of bike sharing?

The future of bike share in LA  (Curbed LA)

As China’s bike-sharing economy booms, its manufacturers suffer  (South China Morning Post)

Bike Group Puts Breaks On Bike Share Program In Arlington  (Arlington Patch)

A Troubled Bike Share Takes a Time-Out  (CityLab)

Hanergy Signs Agreement to Provide Thin-Film Solar Panels to Bike-Sharing Company MTbike  (Cision)

What is it like in a bike utopia?

Laurie Gough describes the role of bicycles in Amsterdam:

The Dutch obsession with the bicycle is profound. The country is impossibly flat, the cities are compact, and cars are actively discouraged in favor of bikes—the cities and towns don’t just have bike lanes, they also have safe wide separate cycle paths with their own infrastructure of signs and signals throughout the entire country. There’s nowhere you can’t get to safely and effortlessly on a bike in the Netherlands, but plenty of places that cars can never reach. Riding a bike through Amsterdam for example is much quicker, cheaper, and easier than trying to drive a car the same distance. Owning a bike (or more usually, two or three of them) is a source of national pride for the Dutch.

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