On July 8th, Polis together with other EU stakeholders published an open letter to the Members of the European Parliament to vote in favour of a EU Roadmap for cycling. This resulted in a positive vote by almost all MEP during the vote in Transport Committee on July 14th.
While voting for their report on the White Paper on Transport, the members of the Committee on Transport and Tourism decided that an EU Roadmap for Cycling would be an apt instrument to further EU transport policy objectives. The Roadmap should assimilate and align the current initiatives of the different Directorates-General of the Commission, in addition to allowing for the formation of further policy measures conducive to a modal shift towards cycling. Think Tank EU Roadmap for Cycling Apart from said Roadmap, the MEPs also stressed the need for the collection of better data on European transport users, especially as regards walking and cycling. Completing the established legislative framework for passenger rights was also voted on, and it was emphasized that bicycle carriage on trains should be facilitated. Read more here.
Bike-sharing app company Spinlister is teaming up with Dutch urban bike maker Van Moof to create a hire bike scheme it says will take the traditional Boris Bike-style hire bike system and "turn it on its head". Instead of hiring bikes owned by municipalities from central locations, bikes on Spinlister's system will be owned by individuals and can be scattered around a town so they're in useful locations, It's less like Boris Bikes and more like Zip Car. Spinlister is a service based around a smartphone app that allows you find a bike to rent if you're in an unfamiliar town, to offer up a bike for rent if you've a spare usually gathering dust. It's a nice community-spirited idea, but it's hard to get involved as a renter if you don't have a suitable bike. To solve that problem, and take the idea up a level, in late summer 2015, Spinlister will start shipping a bike from Van Moof that's specifically designed for the job, with built-in technology that allow it to be left anywhere, ready for hire. The new bikes, which took six months to develop, will initially be rolled out in Portland, Oregon, creating the city’s first working bike-share program.Spinlister users will own the bikes and make them available to rent via the Spinlister website and app. Read more here.
1. P2P bike sharing reinvents itself Spinlister and Dutch company Vanmoof will partner together to manufacture handsome, high-quality bikes—set to roll out in Portland late this summer—with built-in technology like Bluetooth-enabled locks that are specifically designed for use in P2P networks. 2. The big get bigger The country’s biggest bike sharing systems, including Citi Bike in New York and Divvy in Chicago, have announced plans for major expansion.Chicago is growing its system to 476 stations and 4,760 bikes. 3. Look mom, no docks The industry has been closely following the progress of up-and-comer Social Bicycles. 4. Funding issues continue . Recently, transportation advocates have sought to push the message that bike sharing is transit, and deserves to be publicly subsidized just like trains, buses and any other form of public transportation. 5. Increased focus on equity Analysis of a recent member survey by Washington, DC’s Capital Bikeshare revealed that half of survey respondents reported an annual income of $100,000 or more. Read more here.
Chicago certainly has its problems, but its bike-share program, Divvy, is a trophy for the city: it's wildly popular, shares hardware with many of the world's major bike-share systems, it's substantially backed by public funding, and it has more stations than any other American program (including New York's Citi Bike). Now, Chicago is hoping to bring Divvy to a wider audience with today's announcement of "Divvy for Everyone," a discounted annual membership of just $5 for qualified applicants — that's $70 off the normal price. (Citi Bike also offers a discounted annual membership, but it's still $60.) Cities haven't done a good job ensuring equal opportunity to take advantage of the explosion of bike sharing programs over the last decade: usage trends overwhelmingly white, male, and well-off, due in part to station placement and in part to pricing. $5 per year should put membership within reach of just about everyone. Applicants' households must bring in less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which would start at $35,310 for an individual with no children. Read more here.