It is nearly summer in Atlanta and charming pale blue bikes are about to sweep across our city. Cyclists and cycling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that this week Atlanta joins other cities around the country in the bike share craze. Atlantans will have the opportunity to rent a bike any time we need one, just about. Today, Woodruff Park is the site of the opening. Initially, there will be ten locations around town at which the public can rent or return a bike. There will be 100 bikes in the program to start with. The intention is to increase the program later this year.
Other cities around the country have had bike share programs in place which are successful and well-received. The system is user-friendly. It merely requires establishing an account with Relay Bike Share and following the directions to establish a code. When a user rents a bike, he or she uses the code to unlock the bike. Reservations can be made for a bike and returned to the various locations available at the present time.
The program even has different ways to rent and pricing that allows users to pay a flat rate and use a bike every day for a limited time period. A special program is also tailored for the university campus that allows students to use a bike for an hour each day.
Bike share programs are maturing. The New York bike share program has been well-received, but has also been challenged by operational difficulties. In contrast, Washington D.C. has had a successful program for years and weary city dwellers enjoy using the program for short trips around the nation’s capital. Portland is also starting a program this week, which is likely to be successful in the pacific northwest’s capital of cool.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2014 about 21,000 bikes were in circulation for sharing in nearly 40 cities. Those numbers are even greater now. But some of the programs have had difficulty. The revenue stream for these programs depends on a fine blend that includes subscribers who pay an annual fee for greater access and those who pay only for short term rentals. The funding for these programs has also been tough to sustain in some cities. Some analysts believe that the initially the business models were not finely honed and the revenue streams were not as expected. The hope is that the longer the programs are around, the better they will do operationally and financially.
Scholle Law hopes that the program is successful and that Atlantans embrace the program! Ride safely and in good health! If you need help with a question about a bike injury or accident, please contact our law firm.