Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New York learnt from the best

There is a hopeful prediction, kicking around in cycling circles as New York City’s bike-share program nears its introduction to a skeptical public: Soon enough, the thinking goes, the scheme will prove so popular that New Yorkers will insist they invented it. Not quite. When Citi Bike is introduced in New York on Monday, it will resemble a sort of cycling stew — bulky bikes to match the behemoths of London, a pricing model that resembles Washington’s and pliable station hardware borrowed from Montreal. And when Citi Bike personnel “rebalance” the supply of bikes by truck, they will be emulating cities like Paris, where rental riders’ joy in gliding downhill has not been matched by their determination in pedaling back up. “What we’ve tried to do,” said Jon Orcutt, the policy director for New York’s Transportation Department, “is take the best of each system.” The administration compiled a report studying programs from five cities — Barcelona, Montreal, Paris, Toulouse and Washington — weighing how characteristics of each might translate in New York. To make the comparison complete, go to Velo Mondial's 'Pas-Port to Cycling' for the World Bike Share Map. Read on in the New York Times.

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