Promoting bicycling as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation.

Study Finds Viable Market for Bike Sharing in Philadelphia


For Immediate Release
Contact: Alex Doty, Executive Director
215 239-4749
Study Finds Viable Market for Bike Sharing in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA -- The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia today released a report on the viability of bike sharing in Philadelphia. The result of a year of research, the "Philadelphia Bike Share Concept Study" found that a market for bike sharing exists in Philadelphia and recommended a system of 2,500 to 4,500 bicycles.

Bike sharing gives virtually everyone access to a growing form of urban transport, promising increased use of bikes for short-distance travel that will decrease pressure on traffic and transit systems. Similar to car share, subscribers to bike sharing gain access to bikes located at stations located every few blocks. Users can return the bikes to any other station in the system.

"Bike sharing increases individual mobility, access to jobs, recreation and green space," said Russell Meddin of "And it will be an important tool for making Philadelphia more sustainable by meeting the City's Greenworks goal of decreasing vehicle miles traveled."

"Bike sharing is not about making bicycling more convenient for current riders," according to Bicycle Coalition executive director Alex Doty. "The great potential for bike sharing is to introduce biking to thousands of people who have never tried it in Philadelphia." For example, over 95% of the users of bike share in Lyon, France, had never ridden a bike in that city's center before.

After 1,400 people wrote Mayor Nutter supporting bike sharing and passage of a City Council resolution, the City of Philadelphia asked for a study to determine whether bike sharing systems that have been so successful in Europe would be viable in Philadelphia. "The finding that a market for bike sharing exists merits continued work by the City and our partners to advance the concept," said Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor of Transportation and Utilities in a letter responding to the report. "My office will take steps this spring and summer to advance the potential of bike share in Philadelphia."

The report identified several challenges to implementing bike sharing, including:
  • a multi-million dollar price tag
  • upgrading bicycle infrastructure, particularly in Center City
  • a need for increased education and enforcement for bicyclists and motorists, and
  • the resolution of liability issues.
The report proposes to start with a core and expanded bike share market area of approximately 15 square miles that covers Center City, South Philadelphia, University City and parts of North Philadelphia and Southwest that would cost $6.3 million to implement.

The report was authored by JzTI and Bonette Consulting with assistance from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. "DVPRC was pleased to be a partner in this interesting and exciting study," said DVRPC's Director of Planning, Richard Bickel. "Our research into potential demand for a bike sharing program in Philadelphia was part of an extensive, year-long process. Our goal from the beginning of the study was to ensure that bike share would be workable in Philadelphia, and something people would really use."

The Philadelphia Bike Share Concept Study was conducted by the Bicycle Coalition with funding from the William Penn Foundation. The report was supported by the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities and a City Council resolution introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown.

The report can be downloaded at

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a 1,600-member organization that makes bicycling better by promoting the bicycle as a healthy, low-cost and environmentally friendly form of transportation and recreation.

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