Chart of the Day: National Bike Share Ridership Growth, 2010 – 17

Here’s a chart from a recent report from NACTO (nat’l assn. of city transp. officials) showing trends in bike share ridership. As you can see, bike share is up up up! (h/t to streetsblog for the link):

Trends are encouraging nationally…

The caveat is that everything seems to be changing. As you are probably aware, Nice Ride is moving to a dockless model in the next few years, as are many other cities. And the transition really illustrates the continuing differences between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, in as much as Minneapolis seems to be very focused on being orderly — to a fault? — while Saint Paul is simultaneously more laissez faire and stubbornly local about how they are going about the transition.

The report includes a splash of cold water on the “dockless” trend (shown at right), as not many people seem to be actually using the systems as of yet.

Of course, they are still VERY new, and the growth even since 2017 is fas. So the ratio here is likely to change quickly.

Or not…

4 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: National Bike Share Ridership Growth, 2010 – 17

  1. Chris Matthews

    The chart depicting dockless bike share usage is deceptive at best. A more appropriate metric would be trips per capita in cities with dockless bikes vs cities with docked bikes.

    One of the chief advantages of dockless is that the costs to deploy a bike are far lower, and as a result many more bikes are deployed. Here in St. Paul, it’s a half mile walk to the closest nice ride station from my house… as a result, I only rarely use Nice Ride even though I’m a bike share enthusiast. In Seattle, which transitioned from docked to dockless over a year ago, the lowest day of dockless usage has been over 2x the highest day ever of docked usage…. but the usage per bike deployed is lower since there are 10x the number of bikes on the streets, and they are closer to their users. (not exact numbers, but the city of Seattle publishes a report).

    1. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke Post author

      Wow, that’s impressive. Yeah, I live pretty far from a dock as well. I will be VERY curious to see what the “allowed range” of these bikes is going to be.

      1. Chris Matthews

        First thing I saw in the parking ramp at Sea-Tac airport (20 miles from downtown) was a bike share bike…

        Limebike (one of the 3 Seattle providers) will have bikes deployed in Edina and Golden Valley in a matter of weeks… let’s see how far outside the city limits they are allowed to wander.

        My guess is that there will be an “out of network” charge to users if they are left outside the city limits longer than a few hours… and maybe a bounty if you pick one up and bring it back inbounds.

  2. Chris Matthews

    See the first chart comparing Portland (docked) trips vs Seattle (dockless) trips. Based on the relative population difference between the two metro areas, you would expect Seattle to be around 150% the rides of Portland… but Seattle’s dockless system has been producing 3 to 7 times the number of monthly trips that Portland’s system has been producing. Portland has 1,000 bikes deployed, Seattle has close to 10,000…. so ridership per bike is still significantly higher in Portland… but who cares? The people of Seattle are using their dockless system at a much higher rate, and for less $ (both to users, and to the city)

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