Published on January 23rd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

Bike-Sharing Cards for Bike-Sharing Programs across the Country, or World


The News: Bike-sharing programs across the U.S. could be used with a universal bike-sharing card soon. Wouldn’t that be sweet?! Well, there’s already momentum in that direction, with bike-sharing companies that allow their users to use their programs anywhere they exist. For example, nextbike, which has a new bike-sharing program in Wroclaw that I’m loving (despite a couple flaws), has programs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Latvia that I can use.

But here’s more on this and similar possibilities from The Bike-Sharing Blog:

One of the hallmarks of the fourth generation of bike-sharing will be the single transportation card. A pass that is operative on the bus, metro, tram, light rail, taxis, car-sharing and car parking. We wrote about the experiment with the Mobilitätskarte (Mobility Card) of Berlin in our Bike-sharing World — June 2011 as a step in this direction. Another hallmark will be an inter-operative card between bike-sharing systems. A good example is Boulder B-cycle members can use Denver B-cycle and vice versa. In Germany, a registration, by card or telephone, with Metropolradruhr or nextbike will work in all their locations. Bicincittà is in the process of making all their bikes available to all their card holders.

Last week, the bike-sharing service in Wuhan, China (currently the largest in the world with 5,000 more bikes than Hangzhou) announced an intent with the bike-sharing service in Haikou, China to give reciprocity to each other’s card holders. Wuhan is in central China on the Yangtze River and has harsh winters. Haikou is on a large island in the South China Sea with warm winters. According to reports by the Chinese Bicycle Association, the intent is to allow leisure and business travelers to enjoy bike riding in the tropical climate of this ocean city! What a complementary pair of services.

This conjures up whole new avenues for bike-sharing. The systems of Scandanavia, such Stockholm City Bikes, could have reciprocity with Barcelona’s Bicing with less harsh winters. The Polish system in Rzeszow, RowRes, could exchange with Batumivelo on the Black Sea. B-cyclein Madison, Wisconsin could let its University of Wisconsin members enjoy spring break with B-cycle in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the USA.

Why this is importantBicycling is the greenest, most-efficient common mode of transportation on the planet. It’s good for your health. It’s good for your emotions. It’s relaxing. It improves the atmosphere of a city. It’s cool. It’s cheap. It’s fun.

Also, bike-sharing makes bicycling even more convenient, an even more important part of our communities, and essentially becomes another public transportation option, but one slightly more flexible to our schedules and more individualistic, which some people prefer.

Opportunities for action: Check out the options in your area and see if there’s a bike-sharing program you can join. If not, see if you can connect with people in your community and in the bike-sharing community to get one. And, if you’ve got a local bike-sharing program, see if you can get them to partner up with programs in other cities to broaden their membership options.

h/t Streetsblog

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Tim

    If by 2036 we still cant figure out how to divert or possibly destroy a big rock in space we deserve to die

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