The bikes are built and the docks are ready, as construction for the Lanzhou, China Bike Share system enters the final stage. Proceeding at a rapid pace, Lanzhou has begun installing stations throughout the city’s downtown in preparation for an expected launch in June 2014. The initial opening of the citywide bike sharing system will include 70 stations and 2,000 bicycles that will free Lanzhou’s riders to move about the city with greater ease and comfort. ITDP has been actively involved in the advocacy and development of the system, and continues to advise on plans for implementation and expansion.
Since installing the first station in early April, a dock with space for over 40 bicycles in front of the Gansu Provincial Government building in the city center, more than 20 stations have popped up throughout the city. Stations are the modern ‘third generation’, using advanced technology to allow for real-time station updates on capacity and ridership, and automatic take out and returns. Additional work is being done throughout downtown Lanzhou to improve cycle lanes, bike racks, and other infrastructure in advance of the system, assuring that all cyclists will have safe, comfortable routes available.
ITDP has played a critical role in bringing this system to operation. In the early stages, ITDP developed the feasibility study, recommending station locations, a management plan, and technology requirements. The company operating the system, the Hangzhou Jinzhou Bike Sharing Company, was recommended by ITDP, and ITDP continues to work with the operators as implementation continues. Once the system has opened, ITDP will coordinate with Lanzhou officials to understand and track the effects the program is having on commute times, congestion, air quality and other expected outcomes of the system.
The Lanzhou Bike Share will bring many benefits to the city’s residents. The system will further connect the surrounding communities to transit and opportunity. Bike share stations will be placed at all BRT stations, allowing easy intermodal connections, and improved road and pedestrian safety measures will ease biking for bike-share users and other cyclists on the roads. The increased availability and attention on cycling will also help make low and zero carbon transport more attractive and visible in China, helping to change the trend of increased vehicle use.