Is Bike Share Good for Bike Shops?

Bikeshare, a service where bicycles are made available to rent for a period of time and can be picked-up and dropped-off at multiple locations throughout a city , is becoming more and more popular in urban areas across the United States.  The emerging trend of bikeshare programs is concerning to local bicycle shops – after all, why would someone buy a new bicycle if it is affordable and convenient to simply rent a bike from a bikeshare program? 

It turns out that these concerns are unfounded.  For instance, many bicycle shop owners in Washington DC were concerned that Capital Bikeshare, a bikeshare company established in 2010 in DC, would hurt their business.  In truth, the bikeshare program is increasing business for bicycle shops.   

A Capital Bikeshare Station in Washington D.C.


Capital Bikeshare benefits bicycle shops by reviving enthusiasm for bike riding.  Potential bicyclists, who may be hesitant to purchase a new bike, are given an opportunity to commute by bicycle in the city and many of these people end up buying their own bicycles.  Also, the increased number of bikes on the street has made it safer for cyclists, which it turn makes bicycling more appealing. 

The city has already initiated the process to establish a bicycle sharing network right here in Philadelphia.  How will bicycle sharing transform transportation in the city?  Bikehare stations in Center City would help commuters and stations near Independence Mall would be great for tourists.  Where else would be good spots for bikeshare stations?  Where would you like to use bikeshare?

Read the Transportation Nation article discussing Capital Bikeshare and Bike Shop Owners.


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