A woman rides a bike sharing bike in Seville, Spain. Women may be an exclusive target market for bike sharing in Chicago where, as a portion of trips to work, make up only 25%. Photo by Claudio Medina.
We’re expecting a bike sharing announcement very soon, within 1-2 weeks. I thought it would have happened by now, as the City gave itself a deadline of the new year. I can only guess how this delay will affect the launch. Before the announcement comes, though, I wanted to discuss a few ideas and concerns. So this isn’t much of an update but more like, “Hey, bike sharing’s still a thing even though you last heard about it in October!”
What is bike sharing?
It’s a new transit system, using durable bicycles that have lights, a few speeds, quality brakes, and a cargo basket, taking you from where you are to anywhere in the network, just like the CTA. You pick up a bike from Station A and drop it off at Station B. You pay a small membership fee for a month or a year, and all trips under 30 minutes are free*.
“Unless you walk to work, there’s simply no cheaper way to go,” said Josh Stephens, 37, of Adams Morgan [in Washington, D.C.]. “The cost savings have been ridiculous.” Washington Post
Continue reading Chicago bike sharing: Where is it now? and other conversations
Neufeld at the Kinzie protected bike lane, at Kinzie and Clinton
[This piece also runs in the Active Transportation Alliance’s newsletter, Modeshift.]
Last night Active Transportation Alliance (originally Chicagoland Bicycle Federation) marked 25 years of sustainable transportation advocacy with a gala on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus. Suzanne C. and Ben H. generously offered Steven and me seats at their tables so we could report on the event. We’ll soon give you the skinny on what went down at this gathering of some of the key figures in the local and national green transportation scene.
In the mean time, check out this interview I did last year with Randy Neufeld, Active Trans’s first executive director, looking back at the nonprofit’s quarter century of pushing pedaling, and other green modes. In 1987 Neufeld, a former political organizer approached the fledgling organization with an unusual proposal: he would work as the group’s first staff member for free until he could raise funds to pay himself. Continue reading Randy Neufeld looks back at 25 years of Chicagoland Bicycle Federation / Active Transportation Alliance