Getting Around Near and Far — The Supercharged Bike-Sharing Card

Ah, the convenience of a bike-sharing membership. With the swipe of a card, you can get from one side of the city to another, or simply from your home to the metro stop. And in the near future, your bike-sharing bona fides could get you a lot farther.

Haikou Public Bicycles in Haikou, China recently formed a reciprocity agreement with bike-sharing users in Wuhan, China. Some of those types of agreements are already at work with bike-sharing systems in the U.S. More cooperation could change bike-sharing for the better. Photo: The Bike-Sharing Blog

According to Network blog The Bike-Sharing Blog, a bike sharing membership card could soon come in handy at a subway turnstile or even on a vacation in Florida:

One of the hallmarks of the fourth generation of bike-sharing will be the single transportation card. A pass that is operative on the bus, metro, tram, light rail, taxis, car-sharing and car parking. We wrote about the experiment with the Mobilitätskarte (Mobility Card) of Berlin in our Bike-sharing World — June 2011 as a step in this direction. Another hallmark will be an inter-operative card between bike-sharing systems. A good example is Boulder B-cycle members can use Denver B-cycle and vice versa. In Germany, a registration, by card or telephone, with Metropolradruhr or nextbike will work in all their locations. Bicincittà is in the process of making all their bikes available to all their card holders.

Last week, the bike-sharing service in Wuhan, China (currently the largest in the world with 5,000 more bikes than Hangzhou) announced an intent with the bike-sharing service in Haikou, China to give reciprocity to each other’s card holders. Wuhan is in central China on the Yangtze River and has harsh winters. Haikou is on a large island in the South China Sea with warm winters. According to reports by the Chinese Bicycle Association, the intent is to allow leisure and business travelers to enjoy bike riding in the tropical climate of this ocean city! What a complementary pair of services.

This conjures up whole new avenues for bike-sharing. The systems of Scandanavia, such Stockholm City Bikes, could have reciprocity with Barcelona’s Bicing with less harsh winters. The Polish system in Rzeszow, RowRes, could exchange with Batumivelo on the Black Sea. B-cycle in Madison, Wisconsin could let its University of Wisconsin members enjoy spring break with B-cycle in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the USA.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Biker Chicks of West Chester County say the number one rule for cyclists should be never interact with a motorist. Omaha Bikes proudly announces that a three-foot passing law has been introduced in the Nebraska legislature. And SoapBoxLA opines that too many children don’t have the infrastructure they need for safe walking or cycling to school.