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Choosing an alternative to traditional transportation can be an easy and affordable way to reduce your environmental impact. That said, public transportation isn’t always convenient and scooters can make it difficult to carry your belongings. Bike share programs, on the other hand, offer an eco-friendly way to travel to work or explore the city without relying on fossil fuels.
To help Treehugger readers find the best bike share programs in their area, we chose platforms that are local and options in a few large markets. Here are our top picks.
For those trying to reduce their carbon footprint, alternative modes of transportation like bikes and Ebikes can be an effective way to break dependence on fossil fuels while shortening commutes. Bike share programs also offer visitors and tourists the opportunity to explore new places without having to rely on a rental car, cab, or public transportation.
Our overall best bike share program, Lyft, stands out because it partners with a number of location-specific vendors to offer high-quality equipment through an easy to use mobile app. Because the bikes are offered through a large, nationwide rideshare provider, prices are competitive (though they still vary by location), and bikes are reliable and accessible.
What Are Bike Share Programs?
Bike share programs are national and city-specific platforms that provide a low-cost, flexible, and sustainable alternative to cars and public transportation. Usually offering both electric and traditional bikes, these companies have docking stations and bikes located across more populated urban areas where demand is highest. Residents and visitors alike can locate and reserve the bikes using an app and then drop them off when their ride is over.
How Much Does Bike Sharing Cost?
The cost of bike sharing varies by platform and city. In general, though, bike share programs charge about $2 for a single 30-minute ride and around $0.20 for each additional minute. The best bike share programs also offer day passes (usually arbout $8 to $15) and annual memberships (often up to roughly $150) for frequent riders.
Where Are Bike Share Programs Available?
Bike share programs are available nationwide, but tend to be location-specific. For this reason, there are not as many nationwide providers as there are for scooter sharing and ridesharing platforms. Still, there are a number of bike share programs that service multiple larger markets.
How We Chose the Best Bike Share Programs
To identify the best bike share programs for Treehugger readers, we assessed more than 15 providers based on factors like equipment quality and selection, customer reviews, number of available bikes and docking stations, and cost. We also evaluated whether each platform offers multiple membership options, and how past and current riders rate the service.