Philadelphia is looking to become the next Northeast Corridor city to launch an alternative transportation “bike-sharing” program.
Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration plans to ask the City of Brotherly Love’s City Council for $3 million to start a bike-sharing program, according to a Sunday story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The program would put the first 650 bicycles on the street by early 2014, the Inquirer reported, citing information from Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for transportation, Rina Cutler. A second phase in 2015, would add 550 bicycles.
"This is something we've been looking at for five years," Cutler told the Inquirer. "We've had some city envy, looking at cities with bike share, and people have been saying to us, 'When are you going to get bike share?' Well, now we are."
Capital Bikeshare, which launched in Washington, D.C., is the largest bike-sharing program in the country, with more than 175 bike stations across Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria. In Capital Bikeshare’s second-year, from September 2011 to September 2012, more than 1.8 million bike trips were recorded.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino launched that city’s bike-sharing program, known as Hubway, in July of 2011, with 61 stations and 600 bicycles, partially funded with support from New Balance as well as city and federal grants. More recently, Hubway has expanded to include Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.
New York City planned to debut its bike-sharing program, Citi Bike, in March of 2013, but that has been pushed back until May of 2013 because of damage from Hurricane Sandy, according to Reuters. Initially, about 5,550 bikes and 300 stations will be operational in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Eventually, Citi Bike (with a large contribution from Citi Bank) is expected to expand to 600 stations and 10,000 bikes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Baltimore City’s efforts to implement a bike-sharing program in the city by this fall suffered a set back this summer when an exclusive negotiating agreement with B-Cycle — a bike-sharing company operating in 15 cities — expired without a deal. Any future bike-sharing program in Baltimore is now at least another year away, the Department of Transportation said in October.
Further down I-95, while the City of Richmond has yet to launch a bike-sharing program, the University of Richmond started a 35-bike, bicycle-sharing program for students, staff and faculty two years ago.