Episode 24: It’s another theme show on BikeTalk, this time focusing on bikesharing systems in the United States. The last five years have seen a rapid expansion in the number of ‘enterprise level’ networks in big cities, a large number of mid and small size cities getting on board, as well as a proliferation of new technologies and companies competing in what has become a very hot transportation space. We give a very broad strokes overview of the state of the industry as well as what the near future may look like in your city.
We are joined first by Benjy Kantor, senior marketing manager with Motivate, talking about the recent reopening and expansion of the successful Hubway bikeshare network in what’s become a true rite of spring in metro-Boston. With nearly 5.5million trips taken on Hubway bikes since the 2011 launch, Benjy announced a data challenge sponsored by Microsoft to visualize those trips in ways that reframe what bikeshare means to our city.
Next up is Brock Dittus of the Sprocket Podcast, who returns to the show via phone from Portland, Oregon to talk about the major vandalism to the local BikeTown bikeshare system. Rather than focus on the negative, Brock talks about how the community came out en masse and rallied to get the system back online after such a senseless attack.
Seattle is up next for the dubious distinction of having the first ‘enterprise level’ US system that failed. The bikeshare system, Pronto, closed recently and the reasons are under dispute. Was is the helmet law? The weather and terrain? Poor planning or something else? We’re joined via phone by Paul DeMaio of Metrobike LLC, a DC-based bikeshare consultancy, with the historical perspective, and former Pronto employee, Malcom Hall, calls in with his view from the street.
Our last #bikeshare guest is Jon Terbush of Cambridge-based company, Zagster, which has been quietly dominating the mid-market scene with a unique mix of fixed stations and built in locking technology that gives maximum flexibility for the user while keeping costs low.
In local events, Vivian calls in to give us an update on how her #30daysOfBiking is going. Spoiler Alert: she’s kicking ass! We look forward to another update on the next episode to see how she’s rounding out the month. How many days have you ridden in April?
Lastly we have Charles in studio to talk about the Midnight Marathon Ride! For the uninitiated, thousands of riders (yes, thousands) amass on the marathon start line at midnight before the race and follow the route to Boylston Street in the middle of the night. Sounds a bit like magic, right? It’s real…
Regular hosts Mully, Galen and Jessica hold things down in A-control at WMBR 88.1fm. Thanks for listening and be sure to follow us on Twitter, @biketalk881!