Did you know that about 50% of all Americans live less than five miles from where they work, but only 1.67% of Americans commute by bicycle? Now, are you asking yourself why more people aren’t commuting by bike rather than driving if they live so close to work? Me, too.
Well, there are a few intriguing ideas that can increase those statistics to a higher percentage:
The Netherlands, one of the most bike-friendly countries in the world, has come up with a pretty neat solution for those people who need a bike but do not have one: cue the “Bikedispenser” – the first bike vending machine. Bikedespensers help people rent a bike on the go, making public transportation more accessible. Someday soon you may be able to walk up, press A5, and rent a bike here in the United States.
This idea reminds me a lot of the B Cycle program in the United States. B Cycle allows a person to “rent” a bike when they need one and return it to a B Cycle station when they don’t – all you need is a credit card to check out and check in your B Cycle bike. There are 11 cities in the U.S. that have adopted the B Cycle program with more to come. You can even vote for your city to bring B Cycle a little closer to your home.
Now there is even an electric bike sharing station being tested at the University of Tennessee! What is neat about this idea is that it gives riders who may otherwise not have the opportunity (or those who think electric biking is cheating) to try out an e-bike. Let’s hope this e-bike station starts a chain-reaction of more e-biking around the United States!
These bike sharing programs look to be a way of the future, and I dig it. Ideas like the Bikedespenser, B Cycle, and e-bike stations give people the option of riding a bike instead of driving without committing to buying a bike – and you know what that means… Less excuses for not biking to around town!