Due to it’s layout, teensy apartments and ridiculous population, New York City seems to be one of the better places to set up a bike share program. Alas, it has been green-lit, and should become available sometime in 2012.
Head over to Dowser.org for the full story: http://dowser.org/new-york-citys-bike-share-program-to-launch-in-2012/
Personally, I think it’s a great idea, even with the obvious drawbacks (lost, stolen, and damaged bikes, plus occasional inaccessibility due to all the bikes near you already being used). For one, apartments are sometimes so incredibly small, it’s difficult to find space to keep a bike, much less two, should you have a roommate or spouse. Parking is close to impossible, resulting in most people opting not to own a car, meaning they have to walk, get a cab, or take the subway or bus. The latter three mean you have to rely on–and be near–others, as well as continue to waste fuel. Walking allows you to be alone, burning only calories. The downside is, it’s slow.
Due to space constraints, many don’t have bicycles at home. And because there are few safe places to keep a bike on the streets of the city, I can imagine many people opt for alternative transportation so their bikes aren’t stolen while they’re at work or shopping. But, if you had instantly available bikes that you didn’t have to lug up stairs, maintain, or worry about throughout the day, it may get more people to ride to work, the store, or just for exercise.
I’m hoping the program is successful for NYC, and other large cities begin to open similar systems of their own.