Cycle Chic: Bike Share Capitals of the World

Eight of our favorite cities with bike share programs.

There are now almost 300 bike share programs around the world, from France to China, providing inhabitants with smart, environmentally friendly ways to get around.

So just where can you take advantage of  bike share? Here are eight bike sharing cities that we love.

Paris, France

Paris has been on the front pages of bike share news since it launched its popular Vélib system in 2007. Parisians and tourists alike take advantage of the program, making for about 50 million unique rides per year.

Hangzhou, China

Bike share has been available in Hangzhou since 2008 and with more than 50,000 bikes it’s the largest bike share system in the world.

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder just launched its B-Cycle program this spring, but in a college town with an avid crowd of outdoor enthusiasts, it’s no surprise that it has already been successful.

London, Britain

London’s bike share program is relatively new compared to many other European capitals, but that doesn’t make it any less noteworthy. With an interactive map available to users, you can get real-time information on the bikes available and where they’re parked.

Barcelona, Spain

Since launching in 2007, Barcelona has seen 11% of its population sign up for its bike share system, Bicing. In fact, the British Medical Journal reported that the program itself prevents 12 deaths a year. That may seem like a small number, but it’s an encouraging statistic for cities looking for more than environmental and transportation reasons to install programs.

Washington D.C.

With access to over 1,000 bicycles in Capital Bikeshare, there’s no excuse to show up to that meeting on The Hill on anything besides two wheels.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bike sharing and investment in bike infrastructure is leading to cycling in the Argentine capital. The system launched a year ago and riders get to take advantage of improved bike paths and bike parking throughout the city.

Dublin, Ireland

When Dublin’s bike share program launched, it quickly became so popular that the city voted to expand the program from 500 bikes to 5,000.

Images: Jon & Alison, Payton Chung, Mr. T in DC, drinksmachine, Jsome1, IDTP, Mr. T in DC, infomatique


Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.