In 2008, PeopleForBikes helped bring 1,000 short-term rental bikes to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, planting the seed for Denver B-cycle, the first bike sharing program in a major U.S. city. Since then, the number of bike sharing systems across the country has grown significantly.
According to Russell Meddin of Bikesharingmap.com, 24 bike sharing systems launched in 2015, bringing the total number to 94 communities with bike sharing systems in the U.S. Another 20 to 40 may launch in 2016.
Last week, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the Bikeshare Transit Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation would help get more systems off the ground and help existing systems with expansion in order to meet the continued growing demand.
“Bikeshare is proving to be a cost-effective, quick-to-implement transportation solution in a growing number of U.S. cities,” said Tim Blumenthal, the president of PeopleForBikes. “Many U.S. city bikeshare systems support thousands of rides each day that help reduce road congestion and air pollution while improving health. The best thing about bikeshare is that everyone benefits.”
The Bikeshare Transit Act, if passed, will remove barriers that many bike sharing systems across the country face in using federal funding to build and expand.
“Nearly 100 municipalities across the country have built or are building bike sharing systems to help meet their transportation needs,” said North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) Board President Nicole Freedman. “The Bikeshare Transit Act will further the dynamic expansion of bike share across the United States and ensure continued innovation.”
As more communities embrace bike sharing to address their transportation needs, they become more attractive for people to live and work. The Bikeshare Transit Act will help more communities realize the transportation and economic development benefits of bike sharing by clarifying the use of federal funding to build these systems. Thank you to Reps. Blumenauer and Buchanan for introducing this bill.