New York has become the latest city to launch a bike sharing scheme. The privately funded Citi Bike project involves 6,000 bikes and 330 docking stations spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Big Apple is the most recent addition to a phenomenally successful idea that has spread like wildfire over the past decade.
3rd generation bike sharing solutions refer to systems incorporating modern technology, including bike racks that lock electronically, chip cards, the internet and smartphones. Back in 2002, a mere total of seven 3rd generation bike sharing services existed across the world. By 2007, this had grown to 62. By December 2012, this number had increased dramatically to 497.
Of this total, the vast majority of 3rd generation bike sharing schemes exist in Europe. However, the rest of the world is catching up quickly. Asia already has 90 while North America has 35. Australia/Oceania now has four bike sharing schemes while Africa still has some way to go – so far, there is just one service up and running in Africa.