Three Reasons to Start Using Shared Bicycles
More and more people are living in urban areas and using a bike to transport themselves from one place to another. This has many advantages at an individual level, as well as social and even global levels.
Riding a bike to work or to do errands downtown is an increasingly viable alternative for those who live in large cities. Although, beyond buying one and using it by yourself, you can opt for the so-called “shared bicycles”—a system that is beneficial for everyone.
What is the bicycle-sharing system?
The main cities throughout the world have a bike-sharing scheme through which the inhabitants have a bike at their disposal, to use for as long as they need or want to.
In most cases, the government manages this system and it works in a simple way. Basically, you take a bike from a specific point and you can return it to a different designated parking lot.
The shared bicycles initiative began in Amsterdam. However, this phenomenon isn’t something modern; it’s actually more than 50 years old. The initial plan was simple: paint bikes white and distribute them all over the city and make them free to use for anyone who needs them.
Although, initially, it wasn’t very successful, the challenge was taken on again and by 1974, it was organized with the city council’s involvement. Here, they created three bicycle stations in the heart of the Dutch capital. This system was replicated in Paris, Copenhagen, London, Madrid, and Barcelona. It was later implemented in New York, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.
Asia, of course, hasn’t been excluded from the shared bicycle phenomenon. For instance, the Chinese city of Hangzhou has the largest bicycle-sharing system in the world. The trend goes even further in Japan. A recently launched project allows you to use “borrowed” bikes and lets you leave them anywhere; not necessarily at a specific station. With the help of a mobile phone and GPS, you are able to know if there’s a unit available near you.
Why should we use the bicycle-sharing system?
More and more people are living in urban areas and using a bike to transport themselves from one place to another. This has many advantages at an individual level, as well as social and even global levels. Some of the reasons why you should start to take advantage of shared bicycles are:
There are almost 1,000 bicycle-sharing systems in the world and they are successful. Why? Because they solve several problems. Going to a station to pick up a bike, using it, and then returning it to the same spot, or a different one is the simplest thing in the world.
In order to enjoy it, all we need to do is register on the website or specific application, as indicated by the city council or whoever provides the service.
2. Space saving
It’s true that owning your own bike is convenient because it’s readily available and can be used whenever you want. However, this also has its flaws. For example, if your home is very small, storage could pose a problem.
If there’s no elevator where you live, you will have to carry it up the stairs—a potential effort. Furthermore, we can’t forget the fact that we have to leave it in a public place whenever we arrive at a destination. This implies investing in a good lock and knowing where we can safely leave for several hours.
Just as you don’t have to worry about where to store or park the bike, another one of the advantages of shared bicycles is that you don’t have to dedicate yourself to their maintenance or care. This doesn’t mean that just because they are borrowed, you will break it or treat it badly; but in case it needs repair, someone else will take care of it!
In some stations, there are people who dedicate themselves to reconditioning shared bicycles, so that everyone can enjoy them.
Lastly, we can’t ignore the general benefits that a bike has, such as supporting the environment, providing exercise, saving money and time on transportation, and reducing traffic problems in large cities.