Growing pains that hurt Montreal's PBSC Urban Solutions, or Bixi, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week, also hit the American company, Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, that made Bixi its major supplier (full story here). Below, we give an overview of bike sharing in North America, as compared to Vancouver's proposed system.
Vancouver – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Waiting for Alta Bicycle Share to start. It’s supposed to start early this year.
History: Translink studied the feasibility of a bike share program in 2008 and concluded it would be viable and beneficial. City council agreed to explore it in 2009. Public consultations in 2009 and 2011 found support for it. In April 2013, the city settled an agreement in principle with Alta.
Cost: $6-million for equipment and installation, $1-million for startup staffing and signage, then average annual budget of $500,000.
Interesting fact: The proposed program has repeatedly been put on hold because of Vancouver’s helmet laws.
Seattle – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Anticipated to launch in 2014
Interesting fact: It’s the only other Northern American city, besides Vancouver, trying to integrate helmet laws with the bike-share program.
San Francisco (Bay Area) – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Launched Aug. 29, 2013
Interesting fact: The system is called Bay City Bike and offers helmet rentals for $5 a day.
Chicago – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Launched in June, 2013
Interesting fact: Chicago’s bike-share system is called Divvy.
Washington, D.C. – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Launched in 2008
Interesting fact: Washington was the first jurisdiction in North America to have a bike-share program.
New York – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Launched in May, 2013
Interesting fact: New York’s bike-share system, Citi Bike, is the largest in North America.
Portland – Alta Bicycle Share
Status: Scheduled to start in spring, 2014
Interesting fact: The program was originally scheduled to start in spring, 2013.