As a healthy living enthusiast who happens to be a borderline tree hugger, I think I got tears in my eyes the first time I saw a bicycle sharing station. I was in the DC area, and there was a big meter that looked like it was to pay for parking…but there were a line of bicycles there. I went to investigate, and was blown away.
There are many programs across the country and they all work a little differently. Here is the gist of it though: there are sharing stations where a bunch of bikes (all sturdy and in good condition) are docked. You can pay hourly, weekly, monthly or annually. You put in your money/pass at the station, and it releases a bike to you. You can they return it to any docking station in the city. There are also buttons to report any problems with the bike, which immediately puts it out of commission. I LOVE THIS IDEA!! If you are lucky enough to live in a city where this exists (mostly the big cities), bonus! But how great for vacationing too? It is often not practical to bring your bike everywhere you go, and it’s impossible if you’re flying. Who wants to cab it everywhere while you are visiting a new place? And what better way to see a new city? Plus, as an added bonus, you’re getting exercise in!
Here is an example of the bike share program in NYC so you can get an idea of what it is all about. As I said, there are many different programs out there. B-cycle has several across the country as well, and if you click on this link it will take you to a really cool page where you put in your zip code and it gives you all sorts of cool statistics regarding the benefits a program would have in your area. You can also vote to get a program in your town. I voted for Norfolk!!
Has anyone tried these yet? I know I will absolutely be on the lookout for them whenever I go to a new city, and I am going to keep trying to get one here in Norfolk also!