A couple of years ago, we spent a weekend in Montreal and came away totally impressed with Bixi Montreal, their wildly successful bike share program. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a bike share, the idea (at least in Montreal) is that Bixi places corrals of bicycles around town, and individuals are able to rent bikes for up to thirty minutes, returning them to corrals near their destination. Bixi is available with a monthly subscription for locals, or for 24-hour blocks for tourists. With their success, Bixi has expanded to Toronto, Boston, Melbourne, and several other cities around the world.
And why not in Philadelphia? Well, it seems that it’s really just a matter of not yet. According to the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the City has plans to launch a bike sharing program by the end of 2014. So it’s only a matter of time, folks.
If you’re interested in learning more about bike share programs, get yourself to the northeastern end of Rittenhouse Square today to test out different bike share equipment from around the country. This opportunity will go on until 6:30 tonight, at which point MOTU and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council will be hosting a bike share forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences. At the forum, architects of several bike share programs in the US will be presenting, and the City will also share some of its plans for implementing a bike share program in the City of Brotherly Love.
Registration for the event is closed, but we may just show up anyway and hope for a miracle.