Bike sharing pilot program this summer

citi bike rack manhattan 2013

A Citi Bike rack in Manhattan.

A test run of a bike sharing program is planned for Albany, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy later this summer. From the Capital Moves project:

There will be 25 bicycles available for use between 10am and 8pm at one or more locations in each City. Locations are planned to include Jay Street at State Street in Schenectady, Riverfront Park in Troy, Broadway at Division Street in Saratoga Springs, and Washington Park in Albany. Once registered, participants will receive an ID number allowing them to use the bikes for the rest of the month. There will be no cost to participants, although a credit card will need to be on file as security for the bikes. In addition, participants will need to sign a waiver and provide positive identification.

Over the Gazette, Justin Mason has an article that includes a bunch of details about the program. [Daily Gazette]

The program will run from July 10-August 15. Dates for each city are after the jump.

It'll be interesting to see how this pilot goes. Bike sharing is one of those things that sounds like it could useful/fun, but the details also seem hard. One of the most famous bike share programs is the Citi Bike system in New York City, which turned out to be very popular during its first year -- and also faced significant financial problems. And the system is apparently still trying to shake out some of its operational problems. [NYT] [NYDN]


Schenectady: July 10 - July 16

Troy: July 20 - July 26

Saratoga Springs: July 30 - August 5

Albany: August 9 - August 15


I would love to see this succeed, though the test period seems awfully short.

Broadway and Division is not a good choice for the bike center. Too much traffic and bike-unfriendly streets (and drivers) downtown. They should move it to Spa Park.

Hooray! Big fan of bike shares!

I wonder if the signed waiver, membership and identification requirement is just for the test period.

At Di v v y in Chicago, You just walk up to the bike kiosk, swipe a cc and get a 24 hour pass for $7.00 on the spot No need for any paperwork, yearly fees or preregistering and account. Frequent users can get annual passes online.

I have some varying opinions on this based on location, duration, etc... but generally, Neato! :)

My plans to use this as a faster way to get from Crisan back to work sounds like it might not work though... I'll keep my eyes out for more details ;)

I too would love to see this become a permanent thing, but this trial period is an absolute joke. 25 bikes, "one or more" locations in each city, seven day trial.

I would hope there would be more than one station in each city or the whole thing seems pretty pointless. And basing the decision on public interest from a seven day trial program is insane. One weekend of rain and the city loses a potential bikeshare program...

The nice thing about the bike-share system used by Social Bike is that users don't necessarily have to lock the bikes to bike-share kiosks when they reach their destination. It's totally different than the bike-share system shown above, which requires users to "dock" the bike at specific kiosks. This means that it might not matter too much for the pilot program where the bike hub(s) are located.

Here's more info about how Buffalo BikeShare (and Social Bike) works:

It would be great to have a place to rent bikes in the area for people who are visiting (Broadway Bicycle had a very short-lived rental program). But bike share per se has never made any sense to me for Albany, and bike share that only has one location isn't bike share.

Bike shares make sense in cities where you can arrive by public transit, get to a bike and make short trips around town. If I have to drive to the bike share, there's kinda no point; and if I live here, well, I can afford a bike.

I don’t want to disrespect ANY pro-bike activities, but increased access to bikes is not going to dramatically increase biking in this area. Setting up Jersey barriers for cheap and quick protected bike lanes is something that might really get people out there.

Short trial period, limited number of bicycles and some work to be done for sign up? What better way to get a real rental system here than to make sure the bikes are being used all the time they're in place. I ride and own a bike but I'm going to try this out in Albany during the trial period. Sounds like a hoot.

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