These Bike Share Innovations Are Changing The Way We Travel

Photo: GIC

Bike share programs are making it more convenient for people around the world to get around in a quick, eco-friendly fashion. The number of bikes available for public use around the world has more than tripled between 2013 and 2016, and there are over 119 bike share schemes in place across America.

Transportation is now the most polluting industry in the United States (in 2017, it emitted more greenhouse gases than the electricity sector for the first time in 40 years), making green means of travel more critical than ever. These developments are making us hopeful for the future of the industry:

1. Bike programs are starting to address the accessibility problem.

The majority of bike share programs in the United States are huddled in major cities, with New York; Chicago; and Washington, D.C., leading the way. Lime is one dock-less program (meaning users can pick up and drop off their bikes wherever is most convenient for them) that's looking to make cycling more accessible to those who don't live in the middle of the bustle. Thanks to them, Native Americans living in Reno-Sparks Indian Colony will now have access to bikes. Tribal leaders told Lime they’re excited for the opportunity to reduce their automobile traffic and emissions, Fast Company reports.

2. Car companies are hopping on the bike.

In collaboration with Motivate—the company that operates Citi Bike—Ford Motors has launched a bike share program to serve the Bay Area. While it may seem odd that a car company is encouraging people to bike, it's all part of Ford's new City Solutions program dedicated to working with cities to address traffic congestion and help residents get around easier—whether that's on four wheels or two. So far, they're overseeing 546 stations and 7,000 bikes across San Francisco, San Jose, and East Bay.

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3. Bike sharing is pervading the carpooling market.

Another unexpected sign of progress came in April when Uber invested in JUMP, an electric bike service in San Francisco. Starting in California, the ride sharing service will offer users the option to rent a bike or take a car to their final destination. "I quickly realized in coming here that the future of Uber couldn’t be just about cars," Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Verge last week.

Love biking? Here are 10 biker-friendly cities around the world to add to your bucket list.

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