As cities and large towns grow and become busier, the strain on their infrastructure becomes increasingly strained. Once this happens, it takes longer to get from point A to B. Not just that, but larger cities have larger populations, which means more cars. This means more emissions.
Public bike systems like bike-share address both problems seamlessly.
What Is A Public Bike System?
A public bike system or bike share is a system where bike rentals are offered short-term in a geographical area. What this means is, you can bike to the mall, work, the gym, church, and virtually everywhere else, on a rental bike, thus negating the need to purchase your own.
How It Works
A typical bike-share system has a few characteristics that are common in similar systems across the world. These help explain how bike share works. The most common bike share features include:
These and the stations are the most important physical components of a bike-share program. Bikes in public bike systems are often standardized: same color, size, and configuration. At times, the organizations behind specific bike-share companies allow branding on the bikes, and you will often see different company logos on them.
Typically, these bikes are bulky and have high frames. These features help differentiate them from regular bikes.
These serve as both bike racks and payment stations. In addition, each station will feature multiple docks depending on local traffic. These docks are used to store bikes. There are two methods of accessing a bike. The first is swiping a credit card, and the other is inserting an electronic key to unlock a bike. Other systems are where you make mobile payments and use the code you receive to unlock a bike.
To make the system effective, bike-share companies try to have a wide distribution network so that it becomes convenient to find a station quickly and easily.
Usage and Membership Fees
Generally, bike share programs have two types of fees. The first is a membership or pass. These give you access to bikes for a specific duration of time. Memberships are often preferred by people that use the bikes more often, as they offer better rates. For example, if you go to and from work on a bike every day, a membership might be ideal.
A pass gives you access for short durations. For example, if you visit Montreal for a few days or a week, a pass might be more preferable.
The other chargeable fees are usage fees. These are fees calculated depending on how much time you use the bike for. These can be in increments of 30 minutes, 1 hour, and so on.
Use the bike share!
Bike share provides a convenient mode of transport, is more efficient, ideal for tourism and pro-health as it encourages physical activity. Whether you are environment-conscious, in-between cars, or can’t own a car for financial reasons, bike share allows you to get around seamlessly and affordably.