The American Bike-Share Fleet Has Doubled Since January

The total number of bikes available for bike sharing in the U.S. already doubled this year and is projected to keep on growing. Image: ##http://grist.org/article/195888/##Grist via Earth Policy Institute##

This has been an epic year for bike-share in America. According to a report from the Earth Policy Institute, the opening of Bay Area Bike Share yesterday brought the cumulative size of the bike-share fleets in U.S. cities to 18,000 bikes, more than twice what it was at the beginning of 2013.

There are now 34 modern bike-share systems across the U.S. in cities as varied as Chicago, Miami Beach, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, EPI’s Janet Larsen writes in Grist. By the end of next year, Larsen anticipates the number of shared bikes available to the American public will have doubled again.

The year-to-date numbers in 2013 have been bolstered by the opening of New York’s Citi Bike, with 6,000 bikes, and Chicago’s Divvy, with 1,500. Both cities intend to grow their systems substantially. Several smaller systems launched in 2013 as well, including ones in Aspen, Columbus, Fort Worth, and Salt Lake City.

Still, the scale of bike-share systems in U.S. cities trails the size of leading networks in Asia and Europe, Larsen writes. Citi Bike is North America’s largest bike-share system, but it barely cracks the top 20 list of the world’s largest. In first place is Wuhan, China, with 90,000 bikes.

  • Daniel Winks

    If we extend these projections further, the best exponential fit for these data points has 1 bike share bike for every man, woman and child in this country around 2038, and by 2050 we’ll have over 600 million bike share bikes!

  • Seth R.

    If these trends continue…

    http://mlkshk.com/r/NF6J

  • Shemp

    China notwithstanding, it’s good to keep in mind amid the cheerleading that Paris alone has about 40% more bike-share bikes than the entire United States today. Unclear what many of these 34 cities hope to achieve — other than a talking point — with the tiny systems they are bringing forth.

  • Anonymous

    There are a number of university BikeShare systems. Anyone know where I can find cumulative numbers on these?

  • @HamTech87:disqus this isn’t a compendium of university bike-share systems but it’s a great resource for seeing all the systems in the world at a glance: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&om=1&msa=0&msid=104227318304000014160.00043d80f9456b3416ced&ll=43.580391,-42.890625&spn=143.80149,154.6875&z=1&source=embed

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that one of the best things for bike advocacy is to get an increase in ridership. Certainly there are many ways of achieving this, but increasing access to bikes is helping.
    With more people out, especially in the busy traffic/pedestrian areas, even if it is not true for the surrounding areas if drivers start noticing more people on bikes they become more accustomed to us being in the road and so it becomes safer for all—which can further lead to more people on bikes, whether riding their own, or bikeshare. It’s exciting how rapidly this is growing. More people on bikes leads to more people demanding better infrastructure, making these things more politically feasible.
    Interesting point about Paris.
    This cultural shift will take a while. The “talking point” part is helpful, but eating away at the perception that ‘biking is not safe’ can lead to many more people getting on their bicycles.

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