Bike Share Program Coming to Philadelphia

Philly.com has reported that the City will launch its first ever bicycle sharing program some time in 2014. With similar popular programs in cities like Paris, Montreal and Berlin, Philadelphians and visitors alike will soon join other global urbanites who all have the chance explore their city via rented bicycle.

 

Final program details have yet to be flushed out, but Philly.com author Katie Monroe affirms that Philadelphia will soon bring a pay-as-you-go style bikeshare with over 100 “docking locations” across the city where bicycles can be rented and parked. The new system will likely allow users to rent the bicycles for short periods of time (30 to 45 minutes), which is meant to encourage using the bikeshare program for transit rather than leisure.

 

Of course, bicycles are nothing new on the streets of Philadelphia. In a city laid out during the time of the horse and buggy and with few practical public transportation options, bicycles are a popular means of getting around the city. Indeed, just like the citizens of famously-bike friendly Amsterdam and Copenhagen use their cities’ pre-automobile scale to their advantage, so too do thousands of Philadelphia’s cyclists.

 

Packed bike racks demonstrate cycling’s popularity in Philadelphia.

 

For Philadelphia to realize its full potential as a great bicycling city though, let alone one with a successful bike sharing system, City Hall will need to step up and manage bicycling systems just as it does cars, pedestrians, trains and other forms of transit. In her fascinating article on the subject published last month, Philly.com architectural critic Inga Saffron notes that Mayor Nutter is well aware of this need, having already pledged “$3 million toward the (bikeshare program)…which would (ultimately) cost $8 million to $11 million to launch.” Saffron also reports that the city is taking active steps to decide the different spots throughout the city where this new fleet of  bicycles will be placed in Philadelphia’s already tight and congested streets.

 

Environmentally-friendly and budget conscious, we believe that bicycling is going to play a key role in Philadelphia’s future, and bikeshare program would be a critical component in that success. After all, if bikeshare programs can succeed on the hectic streets of New York City and unruly roundabouts of Washington, D.C., so too can they thrive in here Philadelphia!