BACK FROM FRANCE !

Fact-finding tour of bike sharing systems

Message from Martin Zimmerman, CABA Exec. Director  ~ ~ 

In mid-October I returned from a pretty remarkable 3 – week trip…..to Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg, three of the most successful “bike-sharing” cities in Europe. In Paris I interviewed Monseur Albert Asseraf, the JC Decaux company representative for the “Velib” bike-share system (20,000 bikes; usage increase of 20% over last year).  I met with him and the JCD maintenance and repair guys on a barge along the Seine just a stone’s throw from the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Met with other insiders and community activists in Lyon and Strasbourg whose successful bike share systems predate Paris’. Pedaled the systems in all three cities to gauge the quantity and quality of the bike infrastructure and check out what segments of society are actually using bikes on an everyday basis. (Lyon is about as good as it gets). I took the subways, trams, trains and boats (and of course walked for miles in each city) to view how the transportation systems were integrated.

Bike sharing systems are simply well-managed fleets of high-quality bikes available for short-term affordable credit card rental at various locations within cities. There are now more than 375 systems in 33 countries. (For more on bike sharing  – use the Search box on this page or CLICK: Bike Share.)

The results of this trip will be used by CABA as a public service to inform local decision-makers who are just beginning to consider its feasibility in the Queen City, possibly in concert with the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

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