The World Public Bike Collaborative: 2011
"Public Bikes? A great and timely idea for just about every city on the planet (or at least those that meet the basic criteria that you will find clearly spelled out here.) But watch out! These are city-transformative projects and as such have surprisingly massive potential impacts in terms of mobility, environment, life quality, social equity, economic and planetary impacts that come with cost-effective zero- or at least very low-carbon transport for very large numbers of people, trips and places every day.
The leading projects in Paris, Lyons, Barcelona -- and every week at least one more getting attention -- are generating great media interest and many cities are starting to consider how they might bring such projects on board. But in almost all cases they are being looked on as bicycle projects. But no, this is not at all the case. Yes of course, those self-propelled two-wheelers are in the middle of it, but from a strategic perspective we are talking here about a very different kind of animal. And for it to work in your city you will need to understand that what you are looking at and eventually planning for and implementing is not "just one more nice bike project". Not at all!
Rather you are looking at and are going to have to plan for and eventually implement and support a project that is . . .
- significant public transport project in its own right;
- roads and infrastructure project of some dimensions;
- public health project in a time of need;
- city center economic development project;
- climate project that, summed by a thousand, can make a difference; and
- twenty-first century exercise in deep democracy and active citizenry.
This is the nature, the scale and the range of your public bike project. And this is your opportunity. So be ready for it!"