Paul Martin in Brisbane sent me an online toy this morning and I've been playing around with it. It's a live map of bike share system use in a variety of cities.
I decided to compare the levels of bike share use in 12 cities. Nine of them in Europe, as well as Melbourne, Montreal and Washington, DC.
I checked the levels of usage at 08:00 AM in all the European cities (I'm including London and Dublin under that label). The morning rush hour is beginning, people are heading to work. I checked the current weather conditions, too. It's late-autumn in Europe and morning temperatures are getting chillier.
So, here we go. At 08:00 in the morning local time on a Friday:
PARIS - VÉLIB [8 AM / 10°C / cloudy]753 bikes in use
4.3% in use / Normal753 is highest so far today
MILAN - BIKEMI [8 AM / 8°C / shallow fog]110 bikes in use
9% in use / High1142 is highest so far today
LONDON - BORIS BIKES [8 AM / 10°C / light drizzle]404 bikes in use
9% in use / High404 is highest so far today
BARCELONA - BICING [8 AM - 12°C / party cloudy]847 bikes in use
17% in use / Extremely high882 is highest so far today
DUBLIN - DUBLIN BIKES [8 AM / 6°C / party cloudy]76 bikes in use
20% in use / Extremely high78 is highest so far today
BRUSSELS - VILLO [8 AM / 9°C / mostly cloudy]106 bikes in use
6% in use / Fairly high106 is highest so far today
VIENNA - CITYBIKES [8 AM / 8°C / cloudy]54 bikes in use
7% in use / Fairly high72 is highest so far today
SEVILLE - SEVICI [8 AM / 15°C / fine]265 bikes in use
13% in use / Very high265 is highest so far today
VALENCIA - VALENBISI [8 AM / 16°C / mostly cloudy]101 bikes in use
10% in use / High175 is highest so far today
That brings us to the cities outside of Europe. In Melbourne when it's 08:00 CET, the time is 17:00. Rush hour going home on a Friday. Prime time for bike share system use. The weather is, coincedentally, very similar to many European cities. Drizzle in London, light rain in Melbourne.
There are comparable levels of bicycle-friendly infrastructure and a general perception of 'crazy drivers' in Melbourne and a number of the cities on the list, which makes an even better comparison. So how is their bike share system doing? Remember, Melbourne is the only city on the list that has an all-ages, mandatory helmet law (and one of the very few places that actually enforce it.)
MELBOURNE - BIKESHARE [5 PM / 8°C / light rain]3 bikes in use
0.7% in use / Very low7 is highest so far today
There is still little improvement in usage in Melbourne, despite enormous media coverage.
I checked out Washington, DC and Montreal as well. Please note that the time in these two cities was 02:30. Middle of the night. Was anybody using their bike share bicycles?
WASHINGTON - DC BIKES [2:30 AM / 11°C / cloudy]7 bikes in use
1.2% in use / Low38 is highest so far today
MONTREAL - BIXI [2:30 AM / 10°C / light rain]20 bikes in use
0.5% in use / Extremely low243 is highest so far today
Well... um... in the middle of the night in Washington and Montreal there are more bike share bicycles in use than in Melbourne.
Last year, Copenhagenize selected The World's Worst Bike Share Programme - Wheels4Wellness. It still may be the dubious winner of the title, but goodness me... Melbourne just may be gaining.
Just before publishing this, I had a look at the current levels at time of writing.
Dublin: 09:00 AM - 42% bikes in use!
London: 09:00 AM - 17% bikes in use!
Paris: 10:00 AM - 7% bikes in use - up 2.7% since an hour ago.
Check out the Oobrien.com website and see the current levels in all these cities and more.