With so many vehicles in the streets, air pollution is on the increase. As a result, people are suffering from many health problems. One of the ways to avoid this is cycling. By cycling, you can avoid the traffic congestion on the streets and also improve your health. Cycling builds strength and muscle tone, burns calories, improves heart health and also helps reduce stress. Considering all these, some cities have decided to encourage cycling.
Let us see some of the world’s cities where bicycles rule the streets.
Guess which is the biggest revolution to have hit Paris recently? Well, it is cycling. Paris’ bike rental scheme, also known as Velib is in force since 2007. It has 20,000 bikes which are available to rent. And, there are 1,800 rental stations around the French city. Velib is a really great way to get around the city for those who are experienced in Urban biking. Velib is sponsored by the Paris Town Hall and JC Decaux, which is France’s outdoor advertising group. Also, it is known to be the largest bike sharing network in the whole world. And, the concept behind Velib is really simple.
Another city where cycling is really popular is London. Well, who doesn’t love London? With all those ancient buildings, it’s got to be almost everyone’s favorite city. In the year 2010, London Cycle Hire bicycles went into action. This program is also called Boris Bikes, named after London’s colourful bike riding mayor, Boris Johnson. The program has made an effort to reduce the traffic congestion. And, it also aims to make London a greener city. Many researchers have reported that Boris Bikes have led to improvements in both, physical and mental health. The program, which was introduced in 2010 now, has 6,000 bikes at 400 stations.
New York is the most economically developed country in the world today. It introduced its Citi Bike sharing scheme on Memorial Day, May 26th for members. Users have reported that the bikes are really comfortable, solid, smooth, carefully designed and easy to ride. There are about 330 stations generously distributed all over Manhattan below the 59th street and also in Brooklyn. Citi Bike also serves as the fastest, cheapest and healthiest way to explore New York. Citi Bikes are available throughout the year, at any time. But the scheme has certain restrictions. One has to be at least 16 to use one of these bikes.
We all know that Montreal is covered in snow for a much longer time when compared to other North American cities. But, that doesn’t forbid it from becoming a spot for all those bike sharing enthusiasts. It introduced the Bixi program on May 12th, 2009. In the beginning, it had 300 stations with 3000 bicycles. But, the scheme has added more stations in the recent years and now it has 400 stations with 5,000 bicycles. The name Bixi is actually a combination of the words – bicycle and taxi. The bikes here are suitable for both men and women.
One of the interesting facts to note about Amsterdam is that, bicycles are more in number compared to the people living there. It is the most popular cycling city in the world. Here, over 38% of the trips are made by bicycles. In the year 2006, there were 1,000,000 bikes in Amsterdam. Bicycle rental shops are provided all over the city and the bikes are easily affordable. However, by 2012, cycling had grown to be too popular millions of bicycles were clogging the streets of Amsterdam. Also, train stations were overcrowded with parked bicycles.
As a result, a local government tried to have the cycles barred on safety grounds but the cyclists did not pave way for this.