The first generation began in 1967 in Amsterdam, with the white bikes. Ordinary bikes -without locks or racks- painted white where provided for public use Things did not go as planned and bikes where thrown into the canals within days.First generation systems are still used in closed areas such as national parks.
30 years later the second generation was launched in Copenhagen, Denmark. These bikes were specially designed and could be picked up and returned at specific locations (racks) with a coin deposit (like super market trolleys). This 2nd generation bikes still experience theft due to the anonymity of the user. The advantage is it simplicity and low cost. The system is still in use in Denmark and other (Scandinavian) countries. Monash university in Melbourne has introduced a 2nd generation system on their Clayton campus last January.
The third generation uses high tech solutions including electronically locking racks, or bike locks, chip cards, mobile phones and internet. Al third generation systems 'know' who uses the bikes. This relation with the customer creates options for more advanced pricing schemes and increases the responsibility of the user. In 2000 the Dutch 'OV-fiets' (means Public Transport Bicycle) started in three cities. The Dutch Bike Sharing differs from other systems, it facilitates a combination of staffed hubs and automatic bike dispensers. The bikes have locks so people can park the bike wherever they like. The Dutch system works with local bike shops near railway stations and has 180 hubs nowadays. At the same time the German Call a bike started, which is a phone based system with electronic locks on the bikes. In 2007 Paris started Velib, ran by advertisement company JCDecaux. The success of Velib generated enormous interest in bike sharing around the world.
Nowadays bike sharing programs are often offered as package deal by advertisement companies such as Clear Channel (=Adshell) and JCDecaux. It seems a convenient deal for governments who can't afford to provide the service otherwise. Although a lot of issues can occur by mixing up different things like outdoor advertisement contracts and providing bike sharing for the community. That is the reason that cities as Rennes for example separated the tender for outdoor advertisement and the new bike sharing contract.
Different systems in the world
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