Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - Interview with Alain Ayotte

Recently, the Bike-sharing Blog had the opportunity to interview Alain Ayotte.

He is the past President and CEO of Public Bike System Company (PBSC) and one of the creators of the bIXI bike-share system in Montréal. He led the design and development of this first modular “drop in place” bike-sharing system deployed in Montréal in May 2009. Soon after, this award winning system was deployed in Melbourne, Australia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Pullman, Washington; London, England; Washington, DC; Toronto, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; Boston, Massachusetts; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Stony Brook, New York; New York City, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio and Aspen, Colorado.
In February 2013, he left PBSC Urban Solutions.

He can be considered one of the founding fathers of Bike-sharing in North America.

Bike-sharing Blog: So after you left PBSC what have you been doing?

 Alain Ayotte:  I needed some time off to reinvigorate myself and spend time with my family. Then I quickly realized that I wanted to continue to contribute to the urban mobility field. It is a field about which I am passionate and where we really can have an impact on people’s lives.  I could no longer do so in my previous role and that was the main reason which led to my departure.

At the end of 2013, I teamed up with great partners who all shared my vision of urban mobility: Michel Dallaire, the world renowned designer;  Procycle Group, bicycle manufacturers of Rocky Mountain, Miele, and eVox electric bikes, and BikeEmotion, a consortium of three companies and a university, to advance bike-sharing technology. We then created a new company called Bewegen Technologies (Bewegen). Our vision is to inject sustainability into the urban transportation mix. To achieve this goal, we created a shared-transportation solution. Think of it as bike-sharing plus

B-s B: Tell us what does Bewegen mean? From where does Bewegen come?

Ayotte:  As you can imagine, the naming of our company was one of the first tasks we tackled. Hours and hours of research and brainstorming went into finding our name. We wanted to pay tribute to the Netherlands as the pioneers of bike-sharing and of bicycle commuting. We decided on this unique name: Bewegen. Bewegen is simply the verb “to move’’ in Dutch and German. We integrated a lightning bolt into the word to make our logo and to link it with our product.

B-s B: Being an innovator in the bike-sharing industry, you helped create a solar powered bike sharing system with modular docking stations which can be picked up or put down in 20 minutes. This facilitated the ability of removing an entire system from the street during harsh winters and reduced the cost of installation for electrical hook up. This changed the way North American cities deployed bike-share which now has been copied throughout the world.

Innovations have been the hallmark of your work. So with your new system what innovations are you bringing to the world?

Ayotte: We developed a very flexible system in order to give people more freedom and complement the current available means of shared-transportation. With world-renowned partners and multi patent-pending innovations we bring cutting-edge elements such as: 
  • Pedelec (electric-assist) motor e-bikes, equipped with live GPS and semi-flat foot ergonomics, eliminating the need to tilt or dismount the bike while at rest
  • Virtual (non-physical) stations
  • Kiosk-less rentals (with kiosk available for information and casual membership access)
  • Vehicle driven technology
  • Fully integrated front and back office solutions
  • Mobile Phone Applications with full rental capabilities
  • Superb design for easy functionality

Here’s a sneak peak:



B-s B: When will we be able to see these Bewegen bikes and stations?

Ayotte: We will officially unveil our product in early September at Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place in Pittsburgh, PA. The Bewegen team and its partners will be happy to show and explain it to whoever will be present.  As far as full scale implementations, we will be ready to hit the streets of cities and towns in summer 2015.

You can also see the Bewegen experience on our website being launched in the next few days at
www.bewegentech.com

B-s B: We know that the future of bike-sharing is going toward “pedelecs” (pedal assisted electrically powered bicycles). Copenhagen, Denmark and Madrid, Spain started pedelec systems this year, Barcelona will add pedelecs to its fleet this December.  Rome just issued a tender offer for a pedelec system. Many Italian cities now have mixed bicycle –pedelec programs. Do you believe that pedelecs will ultimately replace or augment all current bike-share systems?

Ayotte: Conventional bike-sharing was good a start, but has many limitations. The modal share numbers speak for themselves. They limit the impact that bike-sharing can have on the urban transportation mix of a city. This also limits the pool of riders and the types of use they can get out every trip. I believe that shared pedelec (electric-assist) vehicles are truly the missing link in urban mobility and will soon become the norm.

B-s B: So tell us how do cities planning bike-share or cities with existing bike-share programs plug into this electrifying change for bike-share?

Ayotte: Our flexible technology allows us to integrate Bewegen into an existing system or have it available as a stand-alone system. However, every location has a specific reality and we do not want to generalize a procedure. We prefer to evaluate extensively each demand and adapt to each potential customer’s situation. With our partners, we can count on over 200 dedicated and experienced people to fulfill any demand. We are ready to serve and we’re only a click away at: www.bewegentech.com

2014-08-25

NABSA
The first Annual Meeting of the North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) will be held in Pittsburgh, PA next month on September 7th and 8th. For more information: NABSA Annual Meeting

images: Bewegen Technologies

Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - First Week of August 2014

THE WORLD:


The Bike-sharing World Mapbikesharingworld.com, has surpassed 5,000,000 page views since October 2007. It is the #1 resource for information on cities with bike-sharing systems world wide. It is a catalog of operating, planned and terminated bike-sharing programs on all the continents. With constant updates, the Map is the best way to keep up with the ever changing bike-sharing world.

The five millionth bike-share viewer studied the map on July 30, 2014

Follow the Map on Twittertwitter.com/BikesharingMap

See the O'Brien Global Bike Share Map. It shows real time bike usage in over 110 cities!

ASIA:
China:
                         Beijing:

Reports out of Beijing indicate that the municipal bike-sharing program, Public Bicycle In Beijing, is about to become the largest system of any Capital City throughout the world. Albeit, the largest Chinese program remains the one in the City of Hangzhou with over 78,000 bikes. Before the end of this year, when the area of Beijing within its Ring Roads reaches 24,000 bikes, it will surpass Paris as the Capital City with the largest bike-sharing program. As of today, if all the outlying districts that are under the control of the Beijing Program, though not contiguous to the capital, were counted, the current total would be 27,000 bikes and Beijing would now hold the title according to NETEase News.

NORTH AMERICA:

It has been a slow growth year for bike-sharing in North America. Leading up to 2014, it was shaping up to be a banner year of great growth with numerous cities expected to launch new systems either this Spring or Summer. Yet instead of the promised launches, there have been numerous delays. The cold Canadian troubles coupled with a cold and prolonged winter has been a part of it, but financing of programs has had the major role in this year's performance remaining in a low gear.
North American cities need to have State and Federal governments start thinking of bike-sharing as public transit and make available the funding streams that help other forms of public transit flourish.

images: Beijing

Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - Middle of July 2014

After a few sparks in cities around Europe,


Bike-sharing Explodes!

It happened seven years ago this week in Paris.

Happy Anniversary Vélib'
Vélib'

Original

image: Vélib'

Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap


Monday, June 2, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - First Week of June 2014

NORTH AMERICA:
USA:
       Washington, DC

It's not too late to register to take part in the conversations on how Public Policy and government regulations will affect bike-sharing for 2014. Help craft the direction of Public Policy for bike-sharing next week in the Capital City of the USA. See you in DC!

Bemidji, Minnesota:
Nice Ride Minnesota bike-sharing is going into the bike rental business in an upstate Minnesota summer resort town. Bemidji Nice Ride will begin renting bicycles out of four manned locations in the middle of June. There will not be self-service kiosks available as with the Nice Ride program in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

EUROPE:
DENMARK:
Copenhagen:
Bycyklen gobike Station - More Photos
After being one of the first cities to introduce 2nd generation bike-sharing in 1995, with Bycyklen, those odd looking, grocery trolley tethered bicycles, Copenhagen in now offering something close to 4th generation bike-sharing with an odd looking, computer tablet controlled, electric assist - pedelec- called the new Bycyklen for 2014. 
Although already on the streets during testing for a few months, the new program was only opened to public use this April. There has not been the fanfare of an official launch as of yet. Currently though, there are 250 gobikes in 10 stations. From the original plan, the program is scheduled to grow to around 1,250 gobikes in 65 stations.
The price for casual use is 25kr (US$4.50) per hour. With the monthly subscription of 70kr (US$12.75), plus an hourly usage of only 6kr (US$1.00). There are incentives and penalties for picking up or returning the gobikes away from the designated stations. The bikes are a bit heavy, but a cool ride.

ASIA:
CHINA:
Hangzhou:
Hangzhou, China -So many bikes outside the bike station
Reports out of China indicate the Hangzhou now has 78,000 bicycles in its bike-share fleet. According to HangzhouTravel.com, there has been a jump of 10% in daily usage of the program. Nearly 2,000 bicycles need maintenance daily. There are many cities throughout the world that would love to have a fleet of that size! Over 3,000 bikes each month need to be completely overhauled. New maintenance procedures has brought the fleet up to a level of 97% of bicycles with a rating of road worthiness.

Wuhan:
From the Haksong Evening News, is a report that the Xin Feida bike-share program in Wuhan has not been keeping up with its fleet and stations. The news agency reports that there are many stations void of bicycles and that the 300 million yuan (US$48,000,000) investment for the program hasn't fulfilled all of its promises. Hangzhou, China has a truer count on its bike share fleet and now is considered the largest program in the world.

THE WORLD:

Recent internet stories from a policy institute on the state of world bike-sharing in a "2014 Bicycle Share Fact Sheet"  have been lacking in accuracy.  
Since January there are over 700 cities in the world with active automated bike-share programs. Italy is overtaking Spain as the country with the most bike-share cities and China, now in third place, has overtaken Germany.
For a better survey of the bike-sharing world, The Bike-sharing World Map keeps in its legend a running total of the number of cities with automated bike-sharing.

images: The Bike-sharing Blog


Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing programs and the complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap



Monday, April 28, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - Last Week of April 2014

NORTH AMERICA:
Canada:
         Montréal:

         Very sad news
Montréal Bix fatal crash Monday, April 28, 2014

The first bike share fatality in North America occurred early this morning in Montréal, Canada. According to La Presse, the 33 year old woman was struck by a truck. 

We at The Bike-sharing Blog are extremely saddened by this event. We hope all of our readers remember this woman and particularly if you participate in this year's world-wide Ride of Silence on May 21, 2014.

Bike-share's safety record far exceeds that of cycling in general. With close to 15,000,000 bike-share usages since bike-share began in North America, we reflect on this sad event.

update: The police report that the woman was wearing a bicycle helmet.

image: La Presse

Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.



Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - Third Week of April 2014

ASIA:
China:
                        Heihe, Heilongjiang
With Russia across the river, Chinese soldiers patrol the border using Bike-share
As military tensions build this month along the shared Russian and Ukrainian border, the Chinese Border Patrol along the Heilongjiang River that separates the City of Blagoveshchensk, Russia from the City of Heihe, China, have started using bike-sharing. According to The China Network, the bikes increase the ability of the soldiers to perform their duties on the border as well as move around Heihe without needing heavy vehicles. 

However, the soldiers must return the bikes within one hour to avoid usage fees!

image: Wei Jianshun Photography

Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap


Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - The Second Week of April 2014

NORTH AMERICA
Canada:

                          Montreal:

The newspapers in Montréal are reporting that Bruno Rodi, a Canadian entrepreneur, will be the new owner of Public Bike Systems Company - Société de Vélo en Libre-Service. According to TVA Nouvelles, the sale of PBSC to Rodi Designs will be formalized on Friday, April 11, 2014. Rodi Designs' website proclaims it is the "sofa specialist for 35 years", which is an entirely different industry than bike-sharing. However, hopefully this will mean more comfortable seats for the bikes.

The bid for the bankrupt PBSC had to be a minimum of $4,000,000 CDN ($3,657,000 USD). We will see if that is a bargain or not.

Update April 24, 2014: An investment firm, REQX Ventures, the investment arm of Related Companies, a real estate developer, and Equinox, a fitness and wellbeing company, has put in a larger bid for PBSC than Rodi. The decision is up to the Bankruptcy Judge to see whose credit card the bIXI kiosk will accept!

Update II April 24, 2014:  After many twist and turns in court the Bankruptcy Judge awards PBSC/Société de Vélos en Libre Service to Rodi Designs. A recap of the day's events can be read in the Montreal Gazette.

Russell Meddin            bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap



Friday, March 28, 2014

The Bike-sharing World - Last Week of March 2014

EUROPE:
United Kingdom:
                                       London:
The Tour de France Boris Bike
101 Boris Bikes now carry the bright yellow color of the Leader Jersey of the Tour de France. This year marks the 101st run of the Tour de France and three stages of the Race will roll through the United Kingdom this summer. On July 7, 2013, the third Stage will end in London! We can't wait to see one of these yellow Boris Bikes be the first to cross the finish line!

NORTH AMERICA:
USA:
                                      Boston:
"Prescribe-a-Bike" program for The Hubway
A new program, "Prescribe-a-Bike," will allow doctors at the Boston Medical Center to write prescriptions for their low-income patients to qualifiy for a greatly reduced price of $5 for an annual membership to the Boston area's The Hubway. “Obesity is a significant and growing health concern for our city, particularly among low-income Boston residents,” said Kate Walsh, chief executive of Boston Medical Center, according to Boston.com. “Regular exercise is key to combating this trend, and Prescribe-a-Bike is one important way our caregivers can help patients get the exercise they need to be healthy.”

The Hubway re-opens area-wide on April 2, 2014, which will take a lot of weight off those Bostonians who have been waiting through a cold winter for these rides!

images: Mayor's Watch, and Dirt Riders

Russell Meddin             bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap



Friday, March 21, 2014

Barcelona's Bicing to add Vodafone to its Name



According to Barcelona's La Vanguardia, Europe's mobile telecommunication giant, Vodaphone will be the "naming" sponsor of Barcelona's successful bike-sharing program, bicing. The report states that at the beginning of April, the bikes, the stations, the uniforms, the website and naturally the mobile apps will all say "vodafone - bicing." 

The money from the 3 year contract for the branding of bicing with Vodafone will help the program keep the service levels high while reducing public subsidies to the program.


New name in Barcelona
images: vodafone, bicing and la vanguardia

Russell Meddin               bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap






Thursday, March 13, 2014

Paris: Vélib' Bike-share Called Into Action To Fight Pollution

Update: 
The offer of the Vélib' 1 days pass at no charge will remain in effect through Monday March 17, 2013. All other city transit is also being offered at no charge to help reduce the pollution by giving alternatives to private motor vehicles. As of the evening of Monday March 17, 2014 over 550,000 Velib' rides were taken to reduce pollution since the offer was made on Maech 13, 2014.

On Thursday March 13, 2014 there was a winter day record of over 135,000 
Vélib' trips to help reduce the pollution over Paris.
According to a Vélib' source, 7848 free tickets were dispensed on Friday, March 14th, by 6 PM Paris time, that is close to 2,000 more than the day before!

With the extremely high level of pollition in the French Capital this week, the Mayor of Paris is offering the Vélib' bike-share pass at no charge today and tomorrow. In an effort to reduce the amount of automobile traffic the Mayor is asking residents to leave their cars at home and use Vélib'. For Thursday, March 13th and Friday, March 14th there will be no charge for the 1 day pass at all Vélib' stations according to an official Vélib' web site
Anti-Pollution Measure - One Day Pass Free - March 13 & 14
If you are in Paris March 13th or 14th help reduce the unusual heavy pollution blanketing the City, take Vélib' and take advantage of the free one day pass  which allows 30 minutes of use at no charge each time you take out the bike. Please ride slowly and carefully!


Russell Meddin               bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Innovations In Mobility Summit June 10 & 11, 2014

sharedusemobilitycenter.org
If you missed the opportunity to attend the North American Bike-share Industry Forum earlier this week in snow covered Arlington, Virgina, USA, you now have the opportunity to attend a summit on all shared-use vehicle mobility in Washington, D.C.  during a warmer June.

On June 10 - 11, 2014, The Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit will be the continuation of discussions which began at the overwhelmingly successful Shared-Use Mobility Summit in San Francisco in October 2013. Whether you attended the October Summit or the Forum this week, the June Summit will give you the opportunity to help formulate shared use vehicle policies and learn about new technologies in the shared-use mobility field. Save the date or register now

The Summit is hosted by Mobility Lab, Transit Center, Association for Commuter Transit, and The Transportation Sustainability Research Center.

Russell Meddin               bikesharephiladelphia.org


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing and complement to The Bike-sharing Blog. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More on the North America Bike-share Industry Forum


Parts of this two day event will be avaible as a webinar for those in the industry who can not come in person to Arlington, VA -- just outside of Washington, D.C. To connect to the webinar on Sunday, March 2, 2014, which is for municipal officials invovled with bike-share and non-profit and for-profit operators of bike-share services one must register in advance at: Day 1 Webinar.

To connect to the webinar on Monday, March 3, 2014 which is for vendors and their customers and potential customers invovled with bike-share services, one must register in advance at: Day 2 Webinar.

For those who need more information about bike-sharing and how to be invovled as a municipality, owner-operator, or as advocates, here are current resources besides The Bike-sharing Blog that can be helpful:


Bicycle Sharing 101
Bradley Schroeder, has just publihed a new book: Bicycle Sharing 101: Getting The Wheels Turning. If you are starting a new bike-sharing service or just need to know more, it is worth the read and to keep as a reference.


The ITDP Bike-sharing Planning Guide
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) The Bike-Sharing Planning Guide is also a good read. There are now over 685 bike-sharing cities world-wide. This makes for a good sample from which to glean some best practices and do's and don'ts. Get a copy of this Planning Guide at: www.itdp.org/library/publications/details/the-bike-share-planning-guide.


Keep in touch with The Bike-sharing World with The Bike-sharing World Map. It is the premiere resource for information on cities with bike-sharing. The easy web address for viewing the map is www.bikesharingworld.com.

Follow the Map on Twitter@BikesharingMap


See the O'Brien Global Bike Share Map which shows real time bike usage in many cities!



Russell Meddin               bikesharephiladelphia.org


Thursday, February 13, 2014

U.S. Bike-share Municipalities and Vendors to Convene Industry Forum



The following announcement was released by the National Association of City Transportation Officials on their website:
 
Release date: February 12, 2014

On March 2 - 3, 2014, leaders drawn from across North America’s burgeoning bike-share industry will convene for a two-day summit on the state and future of bike-share. The meeting, which follows a 2013 roundtable of bike-share system owners convened by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) in Denver last September, will gather industry leaders at a critical moment for bike-sharing in the United States. 

“We are right now at a critical juncture in which bike-share has the potential to become a much bigger part of our urban transportation systems in the United States,” said Bill Dossett, Executive Director of Nice Ride Minnesota. This meeting will enhance communications throughout our industry and help us build better, more sustainable bike-share and transit systems for years to come.”

While 2013 saw bike-share systems launch in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and several smaller cities, the industry has had growing pains of late. The declaration of bankruptcy by Public Bike System Co., one of North America’s largest bike-share vendors, has spurred cities and suppliers around the nation to come together to better understand how we can ensure the sustainability and success of bike-sharing going forward. 

“For cities, we see this forum as an opportunity to speak with a common voice and to communicate the importance of a sustainable future for bike-share as a part of our transportation vision," said Ed Reiskin, NACTO President and SFMTA Director. “NACTO is thrilled to play a lead role in accelerating the pace of innovation and elevating communications among cities and their partners for bike-share.”

The two-day meeting will be broken into several targeted dialogues, some consisting of only cities and system owners and others hosted by vendors to speak directly to their customers about their latest products, initiatives, and efforts to improve system operations and communications. Industry leaders will discuss how to achieve common goals, such as increasing system usage and revenue, and improving the overall bike-share user experience. This meeting is a positive step towards the formation of a bike-share industry partnership aimed at accelerating innovation and facilitating communication among bike share stakeholders. 

Bike-share vendors interested in participating should contact Bill Dossett of Nice Ride Minnesota (bdossett@niceridemn.org, 612-436-2074).

Cities [and counties] interested in participating should contact David Vega-Barachowitz of NACTO (david@nacto.org, 646-628-3337). 

This Bike-share Industry Forum is scheduled to take place at the Mobility Lab in Arlington, VA on March 2-3. (The address for Mobility Lab is 1501 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1100, Arlington, Virginia 22209.)

----

I'll be there in my role as the program manager for Arlington County, Virginia's portion of Capital Bikeshare and encourage other jurisdictions with bike-share services and bike-share equipment vendors and operators to join us. This event will be ground-breaking for our fledgling industry. I hope to see you there!