Bike station in Toulouse (France) by Peter Midgley
Also called "Public-Use Bicycles" (PUBs), "Bicycle Transit" or "Smart Bikes", Shared Bike systems comprise short-term urban bicycle rental schemes. Shared Bike systems differ from traditional, mostly leisure-oriented bicycle rental services as (a) they can be "rented" at one location and then either left at that location or at another location (b) they provide fast and easy access; (c) they have diversified business models; and (d) they make use of applied technology (rental process via smart card or mobile phone). They can be used for daily mobility (as one-way-use is possible) and they are often designed as part of the public transport system. The basic premise of the Shared Bike concept is sustainable transportation. According to the latest gTKP data (as of December 2009), there are 143 bike sharing systems operating in 28 countries using around 104,000 bikes. Most systems are in Europe but since December 2008, there has been a rapid expansion of systems in Latin America and China (see Media, below).
Read more in the gTKP Urban Mobility Topic Information Sheet on Shared Bikes.