How to Improve Urban Bike-Share Systems

If March comes in like a lion and out like a sheep, it’s just about time we take a look at the bike-share initiatives around us. In theory, bike-sharing systems should be revolutionizing metropolitan transportation to the point of non-recognition. Maybe not that, but still, there is so much reason to bike everywhere: good for your health, eco-friendly, more efficient (in many cases), community feel.

Phys Org reported on a study at University of Chicago Booth School of Business that found results supporting the idea that bike-share could popularize by redesigning and improving the network/system rather than spending money on more bikes and docking points. The researchers looked into the bike-share system in Paris, Velib as it is the largest and oldest. They were able to determine that a 10 percent reduction in distance traveled to a bike-share station can increase ridership by 6.7%, while a 10% increase in bike-share stations can increase ridership by almost 12%.

How to Improve Urban Bike-share Systems - Clapway

It’s one of the only studies of its kind, and it’s timely because a lot of metropolitan cities with bike-share systems have gotten less rider popularity than expected. With spring on its way, this could stand to be reconsidered—and reconsider they are: Come April 1st, Minnesota is adding 20 new bike-share stations, courtesy of Nice Ride Minnesota, their bike-share program. In 2014, Nice Ride Minnesota riders rode 405,000 times.

Portland, Oregon, known for their superbly bike-friendly community, is also about to add two bike-share programs upcoming in the next year. Splinster has also announced its plans to bring its very first 50 of their custom-designed bikes into Portland. Splinster’s platform can even be used to rent out and rent unicycles, tandem bikes, skis, surfboards, and other gear.Interestingly,

Splinster unveiled their new program ideas at South by Southwest (SxSW) that they hope will be revolutionizing a new wave of bike-share solutions. Instead of the limited options of bike-share in central locations, Splinster wants to sell its custom, Vanmoof-designed bikes to their users who would then pay off their bikes by renting it to riders.  Portlanders would own its branded bikes, and rent them out to people looking for a bike. Once the bike is paid off, they get to keep 80 percent of the rental income.


Photo Courtesy of Vanmoof

Splinster’s bike’s, accessed through a peer ride sharing app are Bluetooth locked/unlocked, and equipped with GPS trackers that auto-update its location for the next rider.

Sign-up with Splinster to rent or rent out your gear and hang tight to see where Splinter-Vanmoof bikes are hitting your city.