Zip cars are widely popular in several American cities already. Without worrying about the cost of insurance and maintenance, people can pick up cars at spots around the city and drive them for a couple hours or a couple days at a time for the cost of a yearly membership in addition to the per-hour or per-day fee. But cars still pollute and they aren't very efficient for making a quick trip, especially with the traffic situation drivers face here in NYC. Well now there may be a new alternative along the same lines. Instead of picking up a zip-car, try a zip-bike.
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK It works in Oslo, it started this year in Barcelona and it's about to launch in Paris. But is New York ready for bike sharing?
A group that's hoping the answer is yes is providing 20 free bikes for a five-day experiment in green transportation, European style.
If the program is a hit, its backers will try to design a year-round bike-sharing system for New York.
"One of the major revelations for us is how real of a possibility this is," said David Haskell, executive director of the Forum for Urban Design, an organization of architects and planners that came up with the bike-sharing experiment. "In major European cities they have bike-share programs that exist."
For five days you can pick up a bike from the Storefront For Art and Architecture down in SoHo. It started yesterday, so you have until Wednesday to try it out. Usage requires credit card info so it doesn't turn into a bike giveaway. Cities across Europe have a had huge successes with their programs, with thousands of bikes and hundreds of pick-up/drop-off sites.
Would this work in NYC on a large scale? I certainly think it would and so do many people that study urban planning. Count me in for bike sharing. I hope it takes off.