Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cycling has become mainstream

When in 2000 Velo Mondial decided to strive for cycling plans in 150 cities in 75 countries, we could never expect that today more than 500 cities in 49 countries host advanced bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet of over 500,000 bicycles; less countries, but more cities. Bike-sharing cities are finding that promoting the bicycle as a transport option can lead to more mobility and safer streets for all. It certainly has come a long way since 1965, when 50 bicycles were painted white and scattered around Amsterdam for anyone to pick up and use free of charge.  Velo Mondial awarded it's inventor Luud Schimmelpenninck the 'Sustainable Mobility Pioneer Award in 2008 for it. Copenhagen's famed Bycyklen ("City Bike") program, which has been an inspiration to many cities, finally closed at the end of 2012 after operating for 17 years with more than 1,000 bicycles. It is set to be replaced by a modern system in 2013. Large-scale bike sharing's early shining star was the Vélib' in Paris. Vélib' was launched in 2007 with 10,000 bicycles at 750 stations, and it quickly doubled in size. Read more in Bike Europe.

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