Yesterday, Philadelphia launched a bike sharing program that has been many years in the making. Our friend Clarence was there, and since he doesn't need sleep, being a robot and all, he spent all night editing a great video showing the launch and how cool the new Indego system is. With 600 bikes spread across 60 stations, the new bike share isn't huge, but it's not small either, being the nation's 5th largest bike share at launch. It should start making a difference right from the start, providing a great healthy and clean way to get around the city.
It was definitely good to see the mayor take an inaugural ride. Grassroots support is essential to make these projects happen, but support and leadership from the top to get through all the bureaucratic hurdles is also crucial.
The bikes and stations are by BCycle, and they are the new improved 2.0 version. They look very solid and utilitarian, which is what you want in such a system.
One of the cool things about the Indego bike share is the pricing structure. Clarence explains:
The pricing system of Indego is what sets it apart. Instead of a yearly fee with trips capped at 30 or 45 minutes before extra fees kick in, which is the most popular subscription option offered by most other systems, Indego is going with a fee of $15 per month for unlimited one-hour per trips. This allows people to avoid the larger upfront cost of an annual fee, and subscribers who, say, only want to ride during warmer weather can also save some money. Another option is IndegoFlex, which provides a year of access to the system for a base fee of $10, with a per-trip fee of $4 for rides up to one hour long.
So if you are in Philadephia, join the fun, go for a ride!