25 Best Bike Share Programs In The World

The bike share programs can be considered a stable and integrated phenomenon of mobility in the cities. The idea of bike sharing was born in Amsterdam, in 1965 and it evolved until 1998 when the first city-scale bike share program was launched in Rennes, France.

Since then, the system spread throughout the world and today, almost all major cities propose a similar solution. Wondering which are the best bike share programs in the world? Find it out in our top 25.​

1. Barcelona, Spain

Bicing, Barcelona’s bike share program, was implemented in March 2007 and it was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the locals. The municipality developed infrastructures and enough docking stations to make it easy for the users to pick up and drop off the bikes. The only downside of this system is that only the residents can access it.

Apart from that, the system is exceptionally well built, users can view the status of each docking station in real time and the average distance between the docking stations is about 450 yards.

2. Milan, Italy

Milan is another city that has something to say when it comes to bike sharing. BikeMi impresses with its over 4500 bikes that include 1000 electric bikes. The system is in full expansion and it is spreading from the city center to the outskirts.

To attract users, the municipality placed the docking stations close to the main rail and subway stations, enabling the integration of biking with the other forms of public transport. The docking stations are located at maximum 330 yards of distance between them and the first half an hour of rental is free.

3. Moscow, Russia

From 2013, Moscow also boasts its own super-effective bike sharing program. There are over 300 docking stations all around the city and anyone can use them, including visitors.

Signing up for the rental system, called Velobike, is easy, you just have to register and purchase a card that gives you access to the bicycles. The first half an hour of riding is free of charge, but the bike share system is unavailable during winter.

4. Boston, USA

Boston launched its bike share program, Hubway, in 2011, and the system is still expanding to the outskirts of the city. At the moment, Hubway counts 1600 bikes and 180 docking stations throughout the city, and the bikes can be rented by anyone.

The municipality proposes multiple subscription options, including a 24-hour access pass, a monthly fee or yearly subscription.

5. San Francisco, USA

In San Francisco, the region’s bike sharing system, called Bay Area Bike Share, boasts 700 bikes and 70 docking stations located in San Francisco and San Jose areas. The system is available to both residents and visitors, and it offers an alternative transportation option embraced by many.

One of the greatest characteristics of Bay Area Bike Share is the fact that the municipality built numerous docking points, therefore finding a pick-up or drop-off station nearby is always easy.

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, also boasts an excellent bike sharing system. Named OV-Fiets, the system is operated by the Dutch railway company and it offers a large number of bicycles in over 250 locations in Netherlands.

To integrate the bike sharing with the other public transport means, the OV-Fiets bikes can be rented using the public transport card, or you can purchase a separate card for bike rental. You can also choose between pay-as-you-go or subscriptions.

OV-Fiets don’t use traditional docking stations and the bikes can be picked up and dropped off at multiple guarded or unguarded bike storage locations or in self-service bike lockers and carousels.

7. Paris, France

Vélib is the public bike share program in Paris that was launched in July 2007. The program is one of the most extensive in the world and it boasted since the beginning an impressive number of bikes and docking stations spread throughout the capital.

The program is in continuous expansion and everyone can subscribe to a daily, weekly or yearly service.

8. Stockholm, Sweden

Without a doubt, one of the greatest ways to visit Stockholm is by bike. The city boasts one of the best bike share programs in the world, the bike docking stations are located almost everywhere in the city and you only need a debit or credit card to rent the bike.

Stockholm City Bike system is only active between April and October and during the season it operates between 6 AM and 10 PM each day. The maximum renting time for a bike is 3 hours.

9. Brussels, Belgium

In 2016, Brussels’ bike share system, Villo, recorded over 1.5 million rents, 40.000 long term subscribers, and 70.000 short term tickets, so we can only say this bike sharing program is a true success.

The bikes are available 24/7, and depending on the length of your stay, you can choose between pay-as-you-go, daily or weekly ticket, or long term subscription.

10. Austin, USA

Austin B-Cycle is another bike sharing system designed for residents and visitors alike, and it counts numerous docking station placed in strategic locations throughout central Austin

To use B-Cycle bikes, you have to subscribe for a daily access at any B-station kiosk. You’ll get unlimited 60 minutes rides and a fee applies to late drop-offs, so keep your eyes on the watch to avoid any extra charges.

11. Berlin, Germany

In Berlin, bike sharing is made simple. To access the system you’ll only have to register for free using either the App available for iOS and Andriod devices, using the official website or the terminal.

Once registered, you can use either the app or the terminal to pick up a bike using your mobile device to receive a lock code. Regarding prices, the first 30 minutes are free of charge and you can opt for pay-as-you-go, daily, weekly or yearly subscriptions.

12. London, United Kingdom

London boasts more than 750 docking stations and over 11000 bikes that are available to residents and visitors. Accessing the Santander Cycles system is uncomplicated and you’ll only need a debit or credit card to subscribe.

To access the bikes, there is a 24-hours fee and the first 30 minutes of each journey are free. So, as long as you keep your eyes on the clock and return the bike to a docking station in time, you can ride as much as you like without extra charges.

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13. Mexico City, Mexico

Because of its huge popularity, EcoBici, Mexico’s City bike share system, can be considered one of the bests in the world. Initially, the program counted only 85 docking stations and 1000 bikes, and in only five years it expanded to over 400 stations and 6000 bicycles.

The program offers both short and long term solutions for temporary users and commuters, and you will be able to choose the subscription that best suits your needs.

14. New York, USA

New York’s bike sharing system is one of the most extensive in the world, counting about 10.000 bikes and 600 docking stations in 55 neighborhoods.

Similar to the bike sharing programs present in other cities, CitiBike offers multiple subscription options that suit the needs of visitors and occasional riders or residents and commuters. Moreover, if you are a visitor, you can find interesting rides suggestions on the system’s website.

15. Philadelphia, USA

Exploring Philadelphia was never that easy, and the city’s bike share system, IndeGo is a popular commuting way for residents and visitors.

In fact, the system is so effective that it offers multiple subscription solutions not only for individual users but also for corporates. The individual passes include a daily pass that offers unlimited 30 minutes rides, or a monthly subscription with unlimited 1-hour rides.

16. Melbourne, Australia

Exploring Philadelphia was never that easy, and the city’s bike share system, IndeGo is a popular commuting way for residents and visitors.

In fact, the system is so effective that it offers multiple subscription solutions not only for individual users but also for corporates. The individual passes include a daily pass that offers unlimited 30 minutes rides, or a monthly subscription with unlimited 1-hour rides.

17. Beijing, China

In the past, Beijing was considered a capital of the bikes and even if the modern development increased the number of cars in the city, the residents still prefer commuting by bike.

For this reason, it is easy to understand why the Community Bicycle Program is one of the most popular throughout the world. The bikes can be picked up and dropped off anywhere in the city, and there are various subscription plans available.

18. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In an attempt to transform the busy Rio de Janeiro in a greener city, the municipality launched Bike Rio in 2011, and the bike share program enjoyed a huge success. Today, riding a shared bike in Rio is easy, as there are available over 400 docking stations and over 4000 bikes.

To increase sustainability from an environmental point of view, the docking stations are powered with solar energy.

19. Tokyo, Japan

Docomo Cycle is another popular bike sharing system available for the residents and visitors of Tokyo. The system enjoys a huge popularity and it is in continuous expansion.

Unfortunately, you’ll not get any free rides in Tokyo, yet you will certainly get to enjoy your favorite sport at a more than affordable price.

20. Montreal, Canada

Montreal is another city you can explore while riding one of the numerous bikes that are available for bike sharing. Bixi Montreal is not one of the most extensive bike sharing systems, yet it counts 540 docking stations in various points of the city.

​Accessing the system is easy with a credit card, and every 30 minutes of each ride are free of charge, once you have paid the one-off subscription fee. The docking station will give you a new access code each time you want to pick up a bike and if a docking station is full when you want to drop the vehicle off, you can request 15 more minutes to have the time to reach the closest docking station. The system is only accessible between April and November.

21. Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Buenos Aires, the municipality’s bike share system, EcoBici, is free of charge for both residents and tourists, and it is available 24/7. In other words, a true initiative to transforming the city into a green capital.

The docking stations are both manual and automated. The automated stations require the use of a smart card that is acquired upon registration.

22. Sao Paulo, Brazil

Another impressive bike share system is Sao Paulo’s Bike Sampa. The sharing system is extensive enough to ensure a generous amount of bikes to both residents and visitors, the docking stations are powered by solar energy and they are located next to the stations and subway entrances for easy access.

The only downside of the system is that sometimes the App doesn’t update in real time and when the weather is bad the bikes might be difficult to access, as the docking stations lose power.

23. Seoul, South Korea

In Seoul, more than 10000 people use Ttareungyi, the local bike sharing system, on a daily basis. The riders, both visitors, and residents can pick up and drop off their bikes from any of the over 400 docking stations available in the most important points of the city.

Although infrastructure could be improved, the popularity of the system proves that the municipality does its best to transform Seoul into a green city.

24. Bangalore, India

Bangalore boasts India’s first fully automated bike sharing system, a bike sharing program welcomed with great enthusiasm by locals. The system is simple to use, yet it requires the use of a smart card that is issued upon registration.

In Bangalore just as in Barcelona, the use of the shared bikes is limited to residents, mainly because the bikes can’t be undocked without a smart card.

25. Taipei, Vietnam

In Taipei, YouBike, or the local bike share program, counts over 7000 bikes that can be easily spotted everywhere around the city. The locals are more than enthusiasts and tourists can also benefit from this convenient bike rental system.

The car rental is free for the first 30 minutes and there is a 15-minute renewal restriction period at the station where the bike is returned.

  • July 25, 2017
  • Blog
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