Bike Sharing In Jacksonville? Why Not?

Bike sharing systems are mushrooming in cities all over the globe. With the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) now looking into the feasibility of this popular alternative mobility choice, it may be only a matter of time before Jacksonville has a system of its own.

Published August 13, 2013 in Transportation -

What Is Bicycle Sharing?

A bicycle sharing system is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals who do not own them. Bicycle sharing systems can be divided into two general categories: "Community Bike programs" organized mostly by local community groups or non-profit organizations; and "Smart Bike programs" implemented by government agencies, sometimes in a public-private partnership. The central concept of these systems is to provide free or affordable access to bicycles for short-distance trips in an urban area as an alternative to motorized public transportation or private vehicles, thereby reducing traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution. Bicycle sharing systems have also been cited as a way to solve the "last mile" problem and connect users to public transit networks.

Bicycle sharing systems have rapidly increased in popularity around the world. As at April 2013, there were 535 schemes worldwide, in 49 countries, including 132 in Spain, 104 in Italy, and 79 in China. The total fleet comprised 517,000 bicycles. This is a sharp increase from 2008, when there were 213 schemes operating in 14 countries using 73,500 bicycles, and 2011, when 375 schemes operated 236,000 bikes. In particular, adoption outside Europe rocketed over that period, up from one system (in Washington D.C.) to around 143, with more than 50 percent of the world fleet in the Asia Pacific region (substantially, China).

With systems already operating in Des Moines, IA, Spartanburg, SC and Omaha, NE, it's only a matter of time before the concept reaches Jacksonville. Here is a list of bicycle sharing systems, already active or planned, in the United States:

Active Bike Share Systems (ranked by number of stations as of July 2013)

City, State: # of stations/# of bicycles (system operator - year established)

 1. New York City, NY: 300 stations/6,000 bicycles (Bixi/Alta Bicycle Share - 2013)

 2. Washington, DC: 239 stations/1,800 bicycles (Bixi/Alta Bicycle Share - 2010)

 3. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: 169 stations/1,400 bicycles (Bixi - 2010)

 4. Boston, MA: 113 stations/1,100 bicycles (Bixi/Alta Bicycle Share - 2011)

 5. Miami Beach, FL: 100 stations/1,000 bicycles (SandVault - 2011)

 6. Chicago, IL: 76 stations/600 bicycles (Bixi/Alta Bicycle Share - 2013)

 7. Denver, CO: 52 stations/520 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2010)

 8. San Antonio, TX: 42 stations/600 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2011)

 9. Broward County, FL: 35 stations/NA (B-Cycle - 2011)

10. Fort Worth, TX: 32 stations/300 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2013)

10. Madison, WI: 32 stations/300 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2011)

12. Columbus, OH: 30 stations/300 bicycles (Alta Bicycle Share - 2013)

12. Chattanooga, TN: 30 stations/200 bicycles (Bixi - 2012)

14. Boulder, CO: 23 stations/120 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2011)

15. Houston, TX: 22 stations/182 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2012)

16. Charlotte, NC: 20 stations/200 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2012)

17. Kansas City, MO: 12 stations/90 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2012)

18. Atlanta, GA: 8 stations/40 bicycles (viaCycle - 2011)

19. Oklahoma City, OK: 7 stations/100 bicycles (Spokies - 2012)

20. Omaha, NE: 5 stations/35 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2011)

20. Hoboken, NJ: 5 stations/25 bicycles (Bike and Roll - 2013)

22. Des Moines, IA: 4 stations/18 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2010)

22. Spartanburg, SC: 4 stations/14 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2011)

24. Kailua, HI: 2 stations/12 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2011)

Planned Bike Share Systems

City, State: # of stations/# of bicycles (system operator - year established)

Los Angeles, CA: 400 stations/4,000 bicycles (Bike nation - 2013)

Long Beach, CA: 250 stations/2,500 bicycles (Bike nation - 2013)

Austin, TX: 40 stations/400 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2013)

Tampa, FL: 30 stations/300 bicycles (NA - 2013)

Salt Lake City, UT: 10 stations/100 bicycles (B-Cycle - 2013)

Portland, OR: NA/NA (Alta Bicycle Share - 2013)

Santa Monica, CA (NA/NA (NA - 2013)

Images of a Bike Sharing System

Established in 2010, Capital Bikeshare is a bike sharing system with 239 stations and 1,800 plus bicycles operating in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. It was the nation's largest bike sharing system until New York City's Citi Bike began operations in May 2013. The planning and implementation of the original system totaled $5 million with an additional annual operating costs of $2.3 million for 100 stations. Today, the system averages 5,700+ daily riders and 2.1 million annual riders. The system is owned by local governments but operated in a public-private partnership with Alta Bike Share, Inc.


Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at

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