BlogCitiesFrom Cars to Bikes: The Impact of Bike-Sharing on Cities and their Residents
February 21, 2023

From Cars to Bikes: The Impact of Bike-Sharing on Cities and their Residents

By Fifteen
Cities are now making a concerted effort to promote cycling to improve the lives of residents, from supporting more active lifestyles, to providing a sustainable form of low-cost transport. One way cities are increasing the modal share of cycling is by implementing bike-sharing schemes.

The concept behind bike-sharing is simple: make it easy for people to get a bike and cycle to their destination. In this article, we'll explore the impact of bike-sharing schemes on cities and their residents, and the benefits it brings to the wider community.


How bike-sharing encourages cycling

Bike-sharing schemes have been successful in increasing the modal share of cycling in many cities around the world. In Paris, for example, the Velib bike-sharing scheme was launched in 2007 and now has more than 20,000 bikes available for hire. Today, the city sees 840,000 cycle trips, one of the highest levels of cycling in the world.

The key to the success of bike-sharing schemes is their accessibility. By placing bikes in easily accessible locations, people are more likely to use them for short trips. This is particularly true for people who may not have access to a bike of their own, or don’t want to invest in buying and owning a bike. A bike-sharing scheme also makes a form of transport accessible 24-7, well after the bus and train networks stop for the night.  

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How residents benefit from bike-sharing schemes

Increased cycling brings a range of benefits to residents, including health, social, and economic benefits.

Health Benefits: Cycling is an excellent form of exercise, and by encouraging more people to cycle, cities can help improve the health of their residents. Cycling can help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, and can also improve mental health by reducing stress levels.

Social Benefits: Bike-sharing schemes can help bring communities together. By placing bike-sharing stations in areas where other transport networks are not, the scheme helps residents be better connected. Furthermore this sustainable form of transport is available 24-7 meaning people can always get home, no matter the time.

Economic Benefits: Encouraging more people to cycle benefits the local economy as cyclists can easily park outside shops, increasing foot traffic. Placing bike-sharing stations can also be beneficial to nearby shops as people seek out stations in streets they may not usually visit. In addition, cycling can save people money on transportation costs, which can be especially important for people on low incomes.

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How to start a bike-sharing scheme for a healthier and happier city 

Bike-sharing schemes are an effective way to increase the modal share of cycling and bring numerous benefits to cities and their residents. By making bikes easily accessible, cities can encourage more people to cycle, reducing dependence on cars and making cities more sustainable, liveable, and accessible for everyone.

If you work in the field of active travel, consider the potential benefits that bike-sharing could bring to your city. We recommend working with a bike-sharing expert, who will be able to identify how best to design the scheme for your city, to help your city become healthier, more socially connected, and beneficial to the local economy, all while reducing a dependence on cars.

If you're interested in implementing a bike-sharing scheme in your city and would like to learn more about how we can help, we would love to hear from you. As a provider of bike-sharing schemes in many cities including Paris, Marseille, Vancouver and Helsinki, we have the expertise and experience to help you create a successful bike-sharing scheme that will benefit your city and its residents.

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