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World Streets

Public Bikes in Latin American Cities: What next?

Eric Britton , EMBARQ, Cuernavaca, 2 July 2009 New Mobility Partnerships – www.newmobility.org World Streets – The voice of sustainable transportation Europe: 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France. USA: 9440 Readcrest Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90210

New Mobility Partnerships

Author’s introduction
This presentation was made to a strategy session organized by the EMBARQ program of the World Resources Institute that took place in Cuernavaca Mexico on 2 July 2009. I was asked specifically to report on the role that public or shared bike systems might eventually play in Latin American cities. There has been considerable interest shown by politicians, some planners and transporters, public interest groups (mainly cyclists of course) and the media across the region over the last year or so. But how to move ahead with a concept which until now has been largely successful in European cities, under circumstances on the ground that differ considerably in most cases. This presentation represents my attempt to plant a few seeds.
Eric Britton New Mobility Partnerships and World Streets Paris, 2 July 2009 Author checking his hot air

Cuernavaca, 2 July 2009

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New Mobility Partnerships

In brief:
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Why bikes in cities? And public bikes? Short history of PBS – time line Shared bikes today – Worldwide, and by region Planning and decision checklists Criteria for success Alternative approaches Reinventing the public bike for LA cities Now what?
Pointing the way

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New Mobility Partnerships

Challenges of transport in cities?

(And whatever are those?)

EMBARQ, Cuernavaca, 2/07/09

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New Mobility Partnerships

Bikes are important, because they offer . . .
         

High quality, no-wait O/D transport Economical for users Lost cost to public sector Excellent environmental impacts Takes pressure off the transit system Public health benefits Increase city amenity and neighborly behavior Because they are democratic Because they simulate new thinking & inspire new approaches And because they are cool
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EMBARQ, Cuernavaca, 2/07/09

New Mobility Partnerships

What’s a Public Bike?
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Day to day city transportation by shared (public) bicycles Open to all registered users/clients. Bikes located in on-street stations (i.e., not garaged) Pick up/drop off at multiple locations within service area Fully automated check-out/check-in service Available 24/7. Free or almost free for very short periods Implementable with many different variants It is, in fact, a true form of “automobility.”

EMBARQ, Cuernavaca, 2/07/09

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New Mobility Partnerships

The Public Bike Tsunami: Some highpoints, 1966 - 2009
1966 – Amsterdam White Bikes (Netherlands) 1973 – La Rochelle Vélos Jaunes (France) 1996 – Copenhagen Bycyklen (Denmark) 1998 – Rennes Vélo à la Carte (France) 2002 – DB Berlin Call-a-Bike (Germany) 2003 – Citybike Wien Vienna (Austria) 2004 – Dutch Rail OV-fiets (Netherlands) 8 – Lyon Vélo’v (France) 2005 – Chivasso Bicincittà (Italy) 2007 – Paris Vélib’ (France) 11 – Barcelona (Spain) 12 – Seville SEVici (Spain) 13 – Montreal BiXi (Canada)
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New Mobility Partnerships

A genuine new urban transport mode
“Very quickly, we have moved from being a curiosity to a genuine new urban transport mode. We invented the public/individual transport system.”
- Gilles Vesco, Vice-president, Grand Lyon, on his city’s experience with Vélo’v

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New Mobility Partnerships

World Wide Bikesharing – The big picture, July 2009

Green = go.

And ? = ?

Source: MetroBike/Google

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Bike-sharing in Europe

Edited copy of Paul's PBS map

The original Bikeshare project White Bikes, Amsterdam, 1967 Source: MetroBike/Google
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Bike-sharing in North America

Look at all those question marks.

Source: MetroBike/Google

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Bike-sharing in Latin America

Edited copy of Paul's PBS map

Source: MetroBike/Google
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Bicycle modal share in selected European cities

Protected cycling Source: Cycling in the Netherlands 2009
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City cycling trends – International comparisons

Cycling as daily transport for all Source: Cycling in the Netherlands 2009
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Common Public Bike Features
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Add a new dimension to urban mobility Extend and complete range of public transport services Integrate the options into a seamless multimodal package Available on-demand For city-length journeys.

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Multiple advantages and benefits
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Provide cost-effective on-demand transportation Huge environmental and public benefits Reach out to destinations un- or under-served by other transit modes Require less infrastructure than other modes of transportation Inexpensive to produce and maintain Do not add to traffic congestion Do not create pollution in their operation Improve cycling safety by increasing number of cyclists on the street Cut back on theft of personal bicycles Provide users with the added benefit of healthy exercise.

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The bottom line for your city
• • • • • • • City Bikes work! Low cost:
Get the planning right and your project is going to be a success.

Your City Bike project is not going to gut your transport budget.

Fast on line:

Planning and implementation time for a large city may range from one to two years, max. For well prepared smaller cities considerably less.

High synergies:

Good project will provide strong synergies with your public transport and traffic control /restraint programs.

Revitalizing the center:

Remember what excessive dependence on cars did to your central city the last time? Well, city bikes provide a means for restoring the center.

Lots of ways of doing it: We strongly recommend you have a close look at all available
choices.

Partners: Numerous viable partners with whom you can work to ensure your project’s success
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A public bike? But it’s not just one more pretty bike project.
Rather it’s a . . .
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Significant public transport project in its own right. A roads and infrastructure project of some dimensions. A city center economic development/revival project. A social project that works to tie people together in soft ways A public health project in a time of need. A climate project for your city that can make a difference. A nudge to changing the minds of planners, the public &the media A 21st century exercise in deep democracy & active citizenry. This is the true nature, scale and range of your public bike project. And this is your opportunity. But are you really ready for it?

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Not just one more pretty bike project. Rather it’s a . . .
Comprehensive, integrated, complex physical/logistics system

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Not just one more pretty bike project. Rather it’s a . . .
Complex, ubiquitous, social system that knits people together

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What kind of shared bike project for you?
     

Full-scale Paris, Barcelona, Lyon, Seville style city bike project?
(Operational services with thousands of bikes blanketing the city)

Comprehensive small city system: ex. Orleans, Dijon , Brescia?
(Hundreds of bikes with good area coverage)

Transit node service: Berlin, Frankfurt,?
(Hundreds of bikes focusing on main transit/rail nodes)

City “learner system” such as Brussels, Washington DC?
(Characteristically hundred or so bikes serving a limited zone)

Tourist/Visitor service: More than 50, from N. to S. of Europe?
(Small fleets of bikes to encourage tourist movements during their visit)

Campus shared bike project ?
(As many as several hundreds of bikes serving a specific area/group)

Cuernavaca, 2 July 2009

* Each of these are radically different in just about all key respects. Our main focus here today is on full scale city bike projects.
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Confirming the role of cycling, walking & public space
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After decades of neglect Reaching beyond the boundaries of long entrenched car-based transport planning and investment approaches Opening up new questions and new possibilities in a high profile manner Changing the public & political discourse Engaging citizens of all ages & social classes Drawing in the media in new ways Transforming the city and daily lives

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New Mobility Partnerships

For public bike project success, ask yourself . . .
o o o o o o o o

o o

o

Is your city’s topography adapted to bike use? What about the weather? Is necessary (critical!) supporting infrastructure in place? Extent, density and quality of public transit coverage? Land use/Activity mix/ Are there places to go in service area? Is your city government 100% behind this project? Do they fully appreciate the full dimensions of the challenge? Is it understood that this is a full-scale public transportation project . . . and Checking in for the 1st time (not just one more nice bike project ) Vandalism? Bike thefts? Public attitudes to public facilities? And what about . . . street maintenance levels, police support, driver attitudes and training, public attitudes to cycling/cyclists . . . Degree of city’s continuing commitment to sustainable development?

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More challenges/criteria for success
Job creation and skills development opportunities? • Road maintenance? • Vandalism/bike thefts, public attitudes to public facilities? • Commitment to, capacity for law enforcement? • Driver attitudes and skill levels • What about that on-street outdoor advertising? • Are we up to the deep communications, negotiation challenges? • Cycle clubs, environmental and support groups? • Capacity for working with public/private partnerships? • So, what’s our business plan? • Now, where do we go next?

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Alternatives to a full scale city bike project
• • •

Are we too small for a city-wide PBS? Is it too early for us to face the full challenges involved. What about a project aimed at tourists and visitors, as opposed to a Campus shared bike projects? Strategies for demo or pilot projects? Can these serve as “starter projects” Growing your small project.
Shared bikes at St. Xavier Univ. in Chicago

more ambitious public transport project ?
• • • •

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Some closing thoughts
• • • • • • • • • • • •
Safe cycling provision. Are you really up for it in your city? Caveat: Injuries and deaths of cyclists are the direct accountability of the city authority!!! What about a “Street Code” for your city? Business model? (Remember this is a new field) Financing strategies? (Lots of options there) Identify and work with all qualified suppliers Supplier/partner selection Phased negotiation with your new partner Contractual sticks – but don’t forget the carrots Planning for the long term Getting time on your side Next stage expansion strategies
Public Bikes in Latin American Cities: What next?

It takes a bit of work to get there
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New Mobility Partnerships

My best suggestions for PBS development in Latin America.
1.

Every city in region should be encouraged/helped to carry out a careful (public) bicycle survey?
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Such a survey, well done, will lead to many new visions and ideas In most cases, will show city not (yet) ready for PBS, but Will yield many valuable clues for new sustainable transition policies Detailed guidelines to assist the city teams in doing this well + access to supporting information and counsel via the web First and ASAP in a cycle of major LA cities – with high visibility Then possibly as national workshops Bring in international experts with hands-n experience Welcome supplier participation

o

Would help greatly to have some good “templates”
 

o

Expert workshops could be very useful:
   

o o o

What kind of support to pioneering cities? Where to start? We need some strong examples in the region? When to start? Why, this morning, of course.
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What will the first great Latin America PBS look like?.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

NOT like the mainline European examples And Not like what we are seeing in the US Will be tailored to the realities and priorities of Latin American cities Will strategically substitute people for technology (surprise) Will combine job creation and training, aiming to create employment and social integration possibilities for the young Will be planned in deeply democratic, highly strategic, wide open manner
   

Bring in as active players full range of all public groups and interests in city and region Will specially target , try to integrate all groups/interests that a priori are against Will invite all potential suppliers to join discussions from the beginning Will bring on board international participants with hands-on experience

o o o

Will be a matter of enormous pride of the city as a whole Will bring the media on board from the beginning And be 100% ready to roll on Day 1.
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Why one citizen likes his public bike
                
Because they accomplish an important job for all And they are fair (democratic, classless transportation) Because they are nimble and fast And there when/where you need them (or almost always) Because they are free (almost always) And let you chose where and how They offer a nice little workout for the sedentary city dweller They make you more aware of the weather (i.e., life) Certainly the best way to see your city They are social, invite eye to eye contact People often help out each other at stations Small mutual compromises with pedestrians and motorists The slight question of uncertainty (available bike, parking slot) Because you can ways find a work-around for it. They make you smart (because you have to keep thinking) The provide potentially good transition jobs for young people And when you are on a bike in the city, you belong
Public Bikes in Latin American Cities: What next?

A typical Parisian transferring from shared-Metro to shared-bike
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Cuernavaca, 2 July 2009

New Mobility Partnerships

New Mobility Partnerships: 2009 - 2012
Pointing the way to New Mobility

For latest versions of this presentation:  English language version at: * http://tinyurl.com/ws-embarq-ppt  Spanish language version at: * (perhaps to follow?)  To join discussions of this presentation: * (To follow on World Streets)
Europe: The Commons, EcoPlan International 8/10 rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris, France + 331.4326.1323 postmaster@ecoplan.org Skype: ericbritton SightSpeed.com: ericbritton North America: New Mobility Partnerships 9440 Readcrest Dr. Los Angeles CA 90210 +1 310 601-8468 partnerships@newmobility.org. Skype: newmobility SightSpeed.com: newmobility

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