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 BikeSharePhiladelphia.org
"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
The report identified several challenges to implementing
bike sharing, including:
multi-million dollar price tag
bicycle infrastructure, particularly in Center City
for increased education and enforcement for bicyclists and motorists, and
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
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
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 www.bicyclecoalition.org/action/bikesharestudy