Bike sharing programs can be costly and complicated endeavors for cities to develop. Those looking to develop such programs have typically had to learn by trial and error.
Now, the Federal Highway Administration has helpfully created a type of bike-sharing 'how-to', a guide for cities looking to implement such programs, sharing best practices of cities who have launched successful initiatives.
The document is free online: Bike Sharing in the United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation (pdf).
Treehugger provides a useful summary of the goals of the guide:
- Define bike sharing and provide an overview of the concept.
- Describe the steps a jurisdiction should take to plan, implement, and sustain a bike share program.
- Document existing models of provision, infrastructure considerations, and funding options for successfully implementing a bike sharing program.
- Describe metrics for monitoring and evaluating program success.
- Provide a baseline documentation of existing bike share programs in the United States in 2012.
It remains to be seen whether the initiative will actually facilitate the widespread adopting of bike-share programs. But the guide is a great example of how crowdsourcing - in this case from cities, not people - can successfully provide a service to others looking to adopt the bike-share model. Cities looking to implement these systems should take note!
Photo: Federal Highway Administration/ Robert D. Jones, Boulder B-Cycle