Timeline of bicycle sharing systems
This is a timeline of bicycle sharing systems, attempting to describe significant events related to the evolution of the systems, as well as their expansion worldwide.
|Time period||Development summary|
|1960s||Bike sharing dates back to this decade, with the introducction of the first system in Amsterdam. Considered first generation, the system comprises ordinary bikes without locks or racks. First generation systems are still used in closed areas such as national parks.|
|1970s||Many city governments and non-governmental organizations start attending the creation of bike sharing systems and begin to consider them as part of the public transport system.|
|1990s||The second and third generations of bicycle sharing systems are introduced in the decade. The second generation introduces bikes specially designed that can be picked up and returned at specific locations (racks) with a coin deposit (like super market trolleys). The third generation includes high tech solutions like electronically locking racks, or bike locks, chip cards, mobile phones and internet. The third generation system 'knows' who uses the bikes.|
|2000s||The fourth generation of bicycle sharing systems is introduced, incorporating mobile docking stations which allows them to be removed and transferred to different locations, thus enabling stations to be relocated according to usage patterns and user demands.|
|2010s||Today, bike-sharing services are ubiquitous in many major cities. An unprecedented growth has been fueled by the propagation of “dockless” systems, shared bicycles that can be parked nearly anywhere, increasing the number of publicly accessible bikes from 1.2 million worldwide in 2015 to more than 16 million in China alone in just two years.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details||Country|
|1965||System launch||A group of activists in Amsterdam introduce the Wittefietsenplan (White Bikes), a set of dozens of regular bicycles painted in white and left unlocked for anyone to use and leave behind for the next person. The program is not a business offering, but a political statement of concern for pollution and against the growing number of cars in the city. It would eventually result into a massive failure and would be quickly shut down after many of the bikes are stolen or damaged. The main person behind the program, Luud Schimmelpennink, is considered the father of the bike share.||Netherlands (Amsterdam)|
|1974||System launch||Vélos Jaunes program in La Rochelle introduces 350 bicycles.||France|
|1975||The idea of a bicycle sharing system is illustrated in Ernest Callenbach's novel Ecotopia, a utopian novel of a society that does not use fossil fuels. Callenbach describes a system available to inhabitants and integrated as part of the public transportation system.|
|1991||System launch||A second generation of bike-sharing program launches in Farsø and Grenå, Denmark. These bikes can be picked up and returned at specific locations (racks) with a coin deposit (like super market trolleys). These second generation bikes would still experience theft due to the anonymity of the users, though their advantage remains in their simplicity and low cost. The system is still in use in Denmark and other (Scandinavian) countries.||Denmark|
|1995||System launch||Having taken 30 years for another major city to attempt a large-scale public bike program, Bycyklen, or City Bikes, launches in Copenhagen as the first large-scale second generation bike-sharing program, with many improvements over the previous generation. This system allows users to access sturdy, shared bicycles at specific locations throughout the city via a coin-operated system. Despite clear improvements over Amsterdam’s White Bikes, thefts and vandalism still plague the program, in addition to problems in funding. The system eventually flourish, featuring fixed docks, where riders deposit money to unlock the bikes. Riders would then get their deposit back after returning the bike to a dock.||Denmark (Copenhagen)|
|1996||System launch||Bikeaboutin launches at Portsmouth University in England as the third generation of bike-sharing programs, where students can use a magneticstripe card to rent a bike. It is the first to come up with a solution to the theft problem. The magnetic-stripe card to borrow a bike, allows it to be tracked when it isn't returned.||United Kingdom|
|1996||Organization||8D Technologies is founded in Canada. It develops bicycle-sharing systems and automated parking management systems.||Canada|
|1998||System launch||“Vélos à la carte” launches in Rennes, France, introducing to a city the third-generation of bike-sharing replacing coin-access with smart card access. It is the first city-scale bike-share program to use magnetic-stripe cards and RFID technology. The bikes are free to use, and have fixed docks in certain location.||France (Rennes)|
|2000||Research||A number of researches relative to bicycle-sharing schemes emerges.|
|2000||April||System launch||The Buga system launches in Aveiro.||Portugal|
|2003||June||System launch||Citybike Wien launches in Vienna. ||Austria|
|2003||System launch||Oslo Bysykkel is launched.||Norway|
|2005||System launch||“Lyon Vélo’v” is introduced in Lyon, France with bikes equipped with electronic components allowing for the bike to be identified by the stations, the distance traveled and conditions of the bikes (lights, dynamo, brakes, etc.) to be tracked, and detailed statistics about bike usage collected.||France|
|2006||April||System launch||Stockholm City bikes is introduced.||Sweden|
|2007||March 22||System launch||Bicing is launched in Barcelona.||Spain|
|2007||System launch||Vélib’ bicycle sharing system launches in Paris.||France|
|2007–2017||Expansion||Bicycle-sharing schemes experience a major breakthrough in cities at a global scale during this period. Of the estimated 1,600 schemes in operation in 2017, approximately 95 percent were launched since 2007, with more than 200 in 2017 alone.|
|2007||December||Expansion||There are about 60 third generation programs globally by the time.|
|2008||System launch||SmartBike DC launches in Washington, D.C. as a 10-station, 120-bike pilot program, the first modern bike-share system in the United States. The system uses the same Clear Channel technology developed for Rennes’s Vélo à la Carte.||United States|
|2008||System launch||Government-owned company Bixi in Montréal pilots its own system with innovative, robust bicycles and a modular docking system.||Canada|
|2008||Organization||Smoove is founded in France. It designs, manufactures and markets products related to bike-sharing.||France|
|2008||July 31||System launch||Cicloteque launches in Bucharest.||Romania|
|2008||Expansion||A rise of bikes in experienced in the United States with similar features, so-called commuter bikes, which are geared directly at riders looking to use bicycles for daily work and study travel.||United States|
|2008||Expansion||Bike-sharing finally begins to take hold outside Europe, with new programs in Brazil, Chile, China, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Each is the first third generation bike-sharing program for the countries.|
|2008||October||System launch||Hangzhou Public Bicycle launches. It is one of the world’s largest, with more than 78,000 bicycles.||China|
|2008||December 8||System launch||BikeMi launches in Milan.||Italy (Milan)|
|2008||Expansion||An estimated 92 programs worldwide are calculated for the end of the year.|
|2009||May 19||System launch||Villo! launches in Brussels.||Belgium|
|2009||May||System launch||BIXI launches in Canada. This system marks the beginning of bikesharing’s fourth generation. The scheme incorporates mobile docking stations which allows stations to be removed and transferred to different locations. This enables stations to be relocated according to usage patterns and user demands. Another feature that could enhance future programs is the use of solar-powered stations.||Canada|
|2009||September||System launch||Dublin Bikes launches.||Ireland|
|2009||November||System launch||YouBike is launched in Taipei.||Taiwan (Taipei)|
|2010||March 22||System launch||Cyclocity Toyama launches.||Japan|
|2010||June||System launch||Melbourne Bike Share is introduced.||Australia|
|2010||July 30||System launch||Santander Cycles launches.||United Kingdom (London)|
|2010||System launch||EcoBici launches in Buenos Aires.||Argentina|
|2010||System launch||EcoBici is launched in Mexico City.|
|2010||Infrastructure||Oliver O'Brien, a researcher at University College London creates a Bike Share Map digital using cartography and data visualization. Updated in real time, the map shows the location of bike share stations in 150 cities across the world, and would become one of the easiest ways for users to get updated on information on their local bike programs.||United Kingdom|
|2010||Organization||Jump Bikes is founded in the United States. It is a dockless scooter and electric bicycle sharing system operating in the United States, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom.||United States|
|2011||March||System launch||Ecovolis launches in Tirana.||Albania|
|2011||May||Statistics||There are around 375 bike-sharing systems worldwide, comprising 236,000 bicycles.|
|2011||May 12||System launch||BicikeLJ is introduced in Ljubljana.||Slovenia|
|2011||October||System launch||EasyBike launches in Nicosia.||Cyprus|
|2011||System launch||EnCicla launches in Medellin.||Colombia|
|2011||July||System launch||NS Bike launches in Novi Sad.||Serbia|
|2012||System launch||Bikesampa launches in Sao Paulo.||Brazil|
|2012||May||System launch||Houston B-cycle launches in Houston.||United States|
|2012||August 1||System launch||Veturilo is launched in Warsaw.||Poland|
|2012||System launch||BiciQ launches in Quito.||Ecuador|
|2012||November||System launch||Pun Pun Bike Share is introduced in Bangkok.||Thailand|
|2012||Statistics||As of date, the biggest sharing system peograms are in Wuhan and Hangzhou, with around 90,000 and 60,000 bikes respectively.||China|
|2013||March||Research||A study published in the American Journal of Public Health reports observing an increase in cycling and health benefits where bicycle sharing systems are run.|
|2013||April||Expansion||There are around 535 bike-sharing systems, made of an estimated fleet of 517,000 bicycles.||Worldwide|
|2013||May 27||System launch||Citi Bike launches in New York City "New York’s bike-share system launches with 6,000 bikes and a first-of-its-kind funding model that uses no public dollars, fully paid for by corporate sponsorships."||United States|
|2013||June||System launch||Velobike is launched in Moscow.||Russia|
|2013||July||Statistics||As of date, the systems with the higher market penetration are Vélib' in Paris with 1 buke per 97 inhabitants, Vélo'v in Lyon with 1 bike per 121 residents, and Hangzou in China with 1 per 145.|
|2013||System launch||Rekola launches in Prague.||Czechia|
|2013||System launch||Weifang Public Bicycle launches.||China|
|2013||System launch||Bikesantiago launches in Santiago.||Chile|
|2013||Expansion||A 60 percent increase in the number of programs is experienced globally, with 65 new bike-share launches in China alone. The number of bike-share bikes worldwide hits 700,000.|
|2014||April||System launch||BuBi launches in Budapest.||Hungary|
|2014||June||Statistics||Public bike-sharing systems operate in 50 countries on five continents, including 712 cities, operating approximately 806,200 bicycles at 37,500 stations.||Worldwide|
|2014||July 16||System launch||Orania Openbare Fietsprojek is introduced in Orania, South Africa.||South Africa|
|2014||December||System launch||ADCB Bikeshare launches in Abu Dhabi.||United Arab Emirates|
|2014||Infrastructure||Madrid becomes the first European city to offer an all-electric bicycle program.||Spain|
|2015||January 27||Organization||Mobike is founded. It is, by the number of bicycles, the world's largest shared (for hire) bicycle operator.||China|
|2015||Statistics||The number of bike-share bicycles hits an estimated 1,000,000 worldwide. China is by far the leader in the sheer number of bicycles. "By the end of 2014, the number of shared bikes in the world amounted to almost one million. China led the charts with more than 750,000 shared bikes in 237 cities, followed by France with almost 43,000 bikes in 38 cities. Britain was seventh highest with almost 11,000 bikes."|
|2015||April 23||System launch||Indego launches in Philadelphia.||United States|
|2015||October 15||System launch||Ddareungi launches in Seoul.||South Korea|
|2015||Research||A study published in the journal Transportation concludes that bike sharing systems can be grouped into behaviourally similar categories based upon their size, where larger systems display greater behavioural heterogeneity amongst their stations, and smaller systems generally have stations which all behave similarly in terms of their daily utilization patterns.|
|2016||April||System launch||Tel-O-Fun launches in Tel Aviv.||Israel|
|2016||June||System launch||Almatybike launches in Almaty.||Kazakhstan|
|2016||July 7||System launch||Metro Bike Share is introduced in Los Angeles.||California|
|2016||Research||A positive environmental impact is found in Shanghai, where bike sharing systems are found to cut down carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25,240 tons.||China|
|2016||December||Research||Publication claim that bike-share programs fail to reach more low-income communities.|
|2017||May||System launch||Helsinki City Bikes launches.||Finland|
|2017||December||Expansion||An estimated 16 million bikes on China’s streets transport about 130 million registered users.||China|
|2017||Research||It is found that bicycle sharing annual memberships in the United States make up for more than 96% of total trips made in the country.||United States|
|2017||Research||Studies in Beijing and Shanghai link the massive increase of dockless bike shares to the decrease in the number of private automobile trips that are less than five kilometers.||China|
|2018||January 1||System launch||Vélib' Métropole launches in Paris.||France|
|2018||System launch||JoBike launches in Dhaka.||Bangladesh|
|2018||August 15||System launch||Nextbike is introduced in Kiev.||Ukraine|
|2018||August||Expansion||Chinese Mobike now operates in over 200 cities and 19 countries around the world.|
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