Bike Share Houston is making strides -- Houston City Council awarded a $105,000 contract to a Wisconsin company to install three solar-powered bike stations at George R. Brown Convention Center, Market Square Park and Houston Public Library - Central. These bike stations will be available to the public, allowing anyone to use a bike for a short period of time -- perfect for connecting commutes, shopping or leisure.
The Bike Share Houston initiative is a joint project of the city, Bike Barn and the non-profit Bike Houston. Funding for the program comes from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency climate showcase grant and other public/private sponsorships.
Paris - 20,000 public bikes
Minneapolis - 1,200 public bikes
Washington D.C. - 1,100 public bikes
Montreal - 5,000 public bikes
Mexico City - 1,200 public bikes
Denver - 510 public bikes
San Antonio - 140 public bikes
Denver was the first U.S. city to launch a large-scale bike sharing program. As Denver's bike share site points out, it's a perfect city for such a program due to the number of sunshine days vs. rain days. With the current drought, Houston can relate.
San Antonio currently has 20 bike share kiosks around high-traffic areas and tourist attractions. According to the Houston Chronicle, more than 1,000 San Antonio residents have purchased yearly memberships to the program since the bike share program started in April. With both residents and tourists using it so successfully, the program is planning to expand in 2012.
A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air.
Cyclists are exposed to less pollution than taxi or bus passengers.
Five billion gallons of fuel are wasted every year from cars idling in traffic.
Those same traffic delays represent nine billion dollars in lost productivity.
Overall, traffic congestion costs the US economy $78 billion a year.
The average commuter spends 50 hours every year stuck in traffic.
By 2032 traffic delays will more than double and CO2 emissions traced to congestion will reach 60 million tons.
The average person loses 13 lbs. their first year of commuting by bike.
At least 30 minutes of exercise is recommended at least 5 days a week.
A fifteen minute bicycle ride to and from work five times a week can burn the equivalent of 11 pounds of fat in a year.
The average American household spends more on transportation than on clothing, health care, and entertainment combined.
On average, 18% of household expenditures are for transportation.
Bicycling brings more than $1 billion to Colorado's state economy. The more often an employee cycles and the longer the distance traveled, the lower the rate of absenteeism.bike share, commute, downtown, george r brown convention center, market square park, public bikes, tourism, transportation