How does bike sharing work

In Italy there are about 140 municipalities where you can use one of the many shared bikes made available by the municipality: but how does this service work and in which cities can you find it?

Climate change and other emergencies that endanger the environment require us to rethink our way of life: to protect the planet today it is necessary to change some unsustainable behaviors. One of these is related to the use of the bicycle, a sustainable and very cheap means of transport. According to the Sharing Mobility Observatory, in our country there are about 140 municipalities that have activated collaborations with companies and associations linked to the sector, for a total of 13,770 shared bikes throughout Italy. In France, where the phenomenon has been quite successful, there are less than 50 cities in which the service is active. Based on this data, we can deduce that in our country the spread of bike sharing has enormous potential. Here is what bike sharing is and how it works.

What bike sharing is

Bike sharing is the sharing of a fleet of bicycles made available by local public administrations, particularly municipalities. The goal is to encourage sustainable choices of citizens in terms of mobility and also allow tourists to move easily while enjoying the beauty of a territory on a bike.

Not to mention that bicycles can also be transported on public transport, such as streetcars or trains, and therefore also allow to move for long distances. This solution allows you to use public transportation for a stretch and, where it doesn't arrive, continue moving on two wheels. As you can see, it's not essential to use a car to make long trips.

How does it work and where to get bikes?

As we have already mentioned, bike sharing is very common in Italy and it's easy to find a shared bike to start using the service. But how to recognize such a bike? First of all, bike sharing is signaled through the installation of real stations where stalls are put, in which the bikes are docked. Of course, they are secured by a mechanism that prevents theft. In order to have your own bike, it is therefore necessary to register for the service and use the "key", which generally consists of a special rigid card.

After using the bike, it can be docked at the stall of departure or it can be left at another station. Normally, bike sharing services allow users to download an app that shows a map of the nearest stations, available bikes, pay the subscription and allows you to manage other functions.

In which cities do we find bike sharing?

Shared bikes are present in cities of all sizes. Of course, they can't be missed in metropolises like Rome, Turin, Naples and Milan. The latter has invested heavily in these projects particularly during EXPO 2015, when 1000 pedal-assisted bicycles were made available in addition to the traditional ones. This operation has made it possible to make the service widespread: users can reach different points in the city, and thanks to the use of public transport and the collaboration between the regional administrations, they can also move throughout Lombardy with some ease.

In fact, one of the qualities of Bike Sharing in Milan is precisely that of relying on vehicles with advanced technologies that allow them to cover greater distances and be used by a wider public.

But the service is also present in smaller towns such as Busto Arsizio in Lombardy, Monopoli in the province of Bari, Benevento, Udine and many others. Moreover, among the first Italian cities to offer the bike sharing service are Cuneo and Parma.