If you've been to Washington, DC this year, you may have noticed a lot of people riding on red bikes. More than likely, they're using Capital Bikeshare, DC's answer to a phenomenon that began in Paris and has spread to other cities, including Montreal and London. Nashville launched a pilot bikeshare program last year. B-cycle has "franchised" the system they built in Denver to smaller cities, including Madison, WI; Des Moines, IA; and starting this week, Spartanburg, South Carolina.
So, how would such a scheme work here? I would start with about 10 stations with 8-10 bikes each in Downtown and Five Points-- the slower and narrower streets in these areas create an ideal bicycling environment. See the map below.
|My concept for a bikeshare system in Huntsville (click to enlarge). Image: Google Earth/Illustration by James Vandiver|
In addition to monthly and yearly memberships, many bikeshare systems are funded through sponsorships from major corporations, such as advertisers and banks. Regions, you've got all of those green bikes-- ball's in your court.