Happened to be in the land of 10,000 Lakes (Minneapolis) recently and tried the bike sharing service near one of the MetroTransit stations. Bike sharing really seems to be taking off in densely populated urban regions – especially in Europe. I have tried bike sharing now in Washington, DC, Paris, Minneapolis, Montreal, Chicago, and New York.
Bike sharing has taken off exponentially in the United States after being introduced in some of the more progressive European urban areas. In some ways this is amazing given the potential pitfalls of the service – from the unpredictability of the bicycle availability to the same “last mile” problems we face in public transportation with proximity of bicycle stations. Weather in the US also heavily influences the usage patterns for bicycle sharing.
If you don’t think bicycle sharing is becoming big in the states, take a look at this cool data visualization that @chris_whong did on 5 days worth of bicycle trips in Washington, DC. http://youtu.be/O_njHxFRj4o
Interestingly, the industry is so successful it is facing bankruptcies and problems similar to other emerging technologies like electric vehicles and renewables. Some of the issues are related to supply chain issues, but others are simply the result of a new economic model following a hype cycle similar to that of other types of technologies. Regardless, it seems that bicycle sharing is here to stay.