Bike Sharing Program To Be Launched in New York in 2012
NEW YORK, USA - New York City officials announced the introduction of a comprehensive bike share system in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn in 2012. Alta Bicycle Share, Inc. has been selected to develop and operate the privately funded system which will include approximately 10,000 bicycles and 600 stations. Options for additional stations in other boroughs are also being explored.
New Yorkers and visitors will be able to pick up a bike at any station, 24 hours a day, and ride to a drop-off station near their destination. Smartphone apps will allow users to find out about bike and station availability in real-time. The bike share stations will be solar-powered.
Bike share will offer residents and tourists a new public transportation option for short, one-way trips that is meant to fill gaps with self-service bike stations located every few blocks. Research shows that 40 percent of trips made by residents are less than one mile; 54 percent are less than two miles, and 67 percent are less than three miles.
Alta Bicycle Share says annual membership in the bike share system will cost less than a monthly unlimited-ride MetroCard. Day and weekly memberships will also be available for visitors to the city. Membership entitles the user to an unlimited number of free 30-45 minute trips. For longer trips, users will be charged a small, graduated usage fee. Exact rates will be determined at a later date.
Road safety in News York City has increased tremendously in the past decade. Cycling injury and fatality rates have fallen or remained stable at the same time as the number of cyclists has more than doubled, giving credence to the theory that a critical mass of cyclist on the roads improves awareness and caution for all riders.
The company, which manages similar bike share systems in Boston, Washington D.C. and Melbourne, Australia, anticipates that sponsorship will be a key component of the system financing.